Most cults through out history failed, those which succeeded and reached political power became a "religion".
All their representatives messed up history to their own advantage to be rememebred in a certain way, then again they are needed to preserve a form of hierarchy in society to prevent chaos and give people with weak self esteem some sort of comfort to questions such as "what is my goal in life" or "where do we go after we die". All promise heaven, or something like it, since humans are so greedy and need something in return to behave the way each cult/religion asks. The simplest reason of all, people feel lost and need a guide, and since few have a certain degree of self control and self discipline they actualy need a Book to differ/tell what is right from wrong.
Judaism's Kingdom of David, Islamic Empire, Christian Holy Roman Empire, Buddhist advisors to Chinese Emperors, Shinto Samurais ruling Japanese territories, just keep looking around you All their representatives messed up history to their own advantage