For its survival, the satanic cult demanded secrecy and obedience while it made brutality, even killing, appropriate. Denial and disavowal were inevitable responses to required behaviors so bizarre as to seem unreal, even to those who enacted them. What they could not deny or disavow, they could distort. They could blame the victims, who deserved to die for fighting or crying or for failing to fight or cry. They found encouragement for such a stance in a general culture accustomed to blaming victims for their misfortunes, and in specific contact with child victims eager to blame themselves. By believing that victims had a choice when there was none, they could see victims as culpable. They could even see the deaths as right and purposeful in the nobility of sacrifice.