In Predators in the Pulpit, Chris Efinda, on the Bereans blog, talks about the doctrine of covering your father's nakedness. In spiritually abusive groups, sins of the father are routinely covered up by the "sons," the enablers of abuse.
Efinda says that it becomes a spiritual test, "When a spiritual son happens to witness his dad in a sinful act, he needs to treat the incident as a divine test of his own loyalty and must promptly cover dad’s nakedness."
This justifies the perpetuation of abuse in churches and groups and gives a scriptural veneer to the most atrocious acts of the clergy.
Those who help abusive pastors, then, think they are doing something noble, when in reality they cement in place abusive church leaders.