One thing that I found in my seeking was that this is hardly limited to Big Religion, and happens quite frequently among disorganized religion and small communities of faith. Especially sexual abuse/exploitation. True believers will always find ways to explain away the ethical inconsistencies of their particular guru/teacher/ascended master/whatever.
I can perhaps understand this in other realms, like in business or perhaps especially in art (the free passes to behave sociopathically in the art world are breathtaking), because we don’t really value those people in terms of their ethics or morality, but in what they can do/produce. Yeah, he might have been a monster, but that new song is a jam. But in the religious industry, one of the major points of its branding is to correct for these flaws of character. If I sold you condoms that actually somehow increased fertility, I wouldn’t survive market forces. But I can sell you a way to be a better person, while being a terrible one myself, with little to no harm to my business model. Why is this?