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At some point in their new lives, former cult members mistakenly blame another person or situation out of their control for outcomes that were their own responsibility. Afterward, they feel extreme guilt and confusion. Their response to the situation felt natural, yet they knew it was wrong. They should have been accountable for their actions, but they transferred the blame to someone or something else. What they do not realize is that the response was programmed from years of cult influence, and that they are recognizing the qualities of a good leader in their own mistake. Good leaders are accountable. Good leaders are transparent. They accept responsibility for all outcomes expected of them, both good and bad.

A good leader is in control, and his or her followers are aware that in times of bad outcomes, good leaders know how to take an appropriate reaction. They do not blame others, especially for things out of their control; they are always in control. If they do not take responsibility, they are a victim, and a victim is the opposite of a leader.

Religious cult leaders often feed on the sympathy of his or her followers by "playing the victim". When "supernatural" events or powers do not succeed, religious cult leaders blame the situation, "unbelievers", and even cult followers for their failure. As the "victim", there is seldom a second chance for a repeat "supernatural" event. The "victim" has lost their only chance. As cult leader, however, they will not be held accountable for failure, and will not disclose all the facts describing their inability to succeed. This philosophy trickles down through the ranks of a cult, and even rank-and-file members struggle with transparency.

This is a huge transition for former members of a cult. It is uncomfortable admitting failure, especially if it was a result of your own actions. It is a skill learned only through experience, and all starts with the first step: accountability.