A group, often times though not always religious or spiritual in nature, that is led by a single or small group of leader(s).

Members are often recruited or by some means persuaded to join, rarely if ever knowing how destructive and harmful a cult can be -- rarely knowing that it IS a cult. Though they usual come off as being generous, caring and in the best interests of their members, cults are inherently based on furthering the desires of cult leaders.

Cult leaders commonly use thought reform or "brainwashing", in conjunction with other methods, to slowly and deliberately reel in more control of said members. In many cases, members may eventually forsake their friends and family (non-members are viewed as "wrong" or "bad") and give up their careers, homes and/or money to the leader.
Jonestown is an infamous example of a cult. Many people were recruited to what was portrayed to be a friendly, all-inclusive and loving community church. Through years of exponential thought reform, however, members would eventually devote their lives to Jim Jones and, in effect, die for him.

Note: Not all cults are harmful in nature. Many are benign, i.e. trekkies.

See www.rickross.com for more extensive definitions.
by Camryn March 24, 2005
A cult is an organisation that has a set of beliefs in which the cult is viewed as being the one true organization, everyone else is wrong.

Usually they promote some kind of religious belief - usually made up by themself - but not always, some cults can be athiest, such as Amway.

Usually members have black-and-white thinking, and see their organization as being infaliable.

Members of a cult can be known as followers.

Followers will obay the cult leaders instructions and believe the propaganda without needing to verify it with much proof.

They are usually superstitious.

Cult members can be of average intelligence.

When people wonder about how a cult works, they usually focus on what the leader is doing. Usually the leader is just a charasmatic con-artist.

The real mechanics of how a cult works can be understood by focusing on the psychology of the follower.
The cult had over 1,000,000 members, each of whom, believed that the leader knew the secret of power, and by following him, and by buying all of his products, they too, would understand the secret.

Cult B had 1,000 members, and members believed they were with the right way because so many around them were following the crazy ideas, and the leader seemed so powerful.
by I am your leader!!!!1 January 15, 2010
An organization that disguises itself as a religion. Usually requiring members to offer large amounts of money and time to participate. They have strange rituals, and practice brainwashing.
"Hey man I just paid 300$ to get myself audited for Scientology"
"Wow man you just joined a cult, dumb shit."
by Bob Lee Swagger April 09, 2008
A group that is self-serving, does not benefit society or it's own members, usually has a charismatic leader, and is know to "disconnect" from anyone who is not part of it. They usually charge large sums of money to get in and stay in.
The cult of $cientology has been proven to be one of the most abusive and intimidating cults in the world. Anyone that speaks out against it is subjected to what is called "Fair Game", where you can be harassed, sued, lied to, tricked, beaten, or even raped or killed.
by ak-anonymous May 14, 2008
dictionary definition a system of religious worship or devoted attachment to a person principle etc or a sect

technically then all religions are cults
Hey what religious affiliation have you?
I'm a Christian.
Oh, you belong to a cult?
No, I'm Christian. That's not a cult.
Technically it is.
by conro April 22, 2008
The "other" church down the road.
We do not belong to a cult, but that other church does.
by Googy July 13, 2005
1: A religious group that usually features a charismatic or controlling leader or group of leaders, promotes an unhealthy suspicion of people outside the group (Especially former members) and promotes a strict set of rules that may be harmful to the person.

Often times, they promote martyrdom for rules based on unusual and sometimes false premises.

2: A rock band from the UK, featuring Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy.
Def 1: Cults come in many flavors. From your psychologically lethal Branch Davidians and Flirty Fishers to your somewhat mainstream, but still isolationastic ones like The Way International, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses

2: Ian Astbury ruined not just one, but good bands by leaving The Cult to go sing for The Doors of the 21rst Century
by Bob Almighty. April 26, 2005
One of the chief exports of the United States, examples being Pentecostalism, Southern Baptists, Pat Robertson, and key members of the Bush Administration.
The former USSR is learning fast that religious freedom can have a downside, thanks to the influx of various cults, most of which originate in the US.
by LudwigVan November 11, 2003

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