when abuse goes underground
"Insidious Abuse" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
In my experience and observation, often when an organization, church, or leader gets accused of being abusive, rather than offering a genuine apology, a kind of non-apology is provided and the abuse becomes more insidious.
We are very ingenious at continuing on in our lives unhindered, even when challenged, because we find new and more clever ways to do what we've always done.
It's like the physically abusive husband who's called on it, apologizes, but then resorts to yelling. Then when he's called on this he apologizes, but then resorts to emotional abuse. Then when he's called on this he apologizes, but then resorts to intellectual abuse. And so on.
Churches and many other types of communities do the same thing. We can always find ways to inflict our disdain on those we don't respect and assault their independence, autonomy, and dignity.
Shaming to control others is a well used tool in every abuser's arsenal.