Again, how is this different from the larger, respected religions? I don't think it needs to be taken as a slight or a slur in anyway.

This is what should be addressed, not the word itself. The authoritarian hierarchy, thought control, guilt tripping, shaming etc.

*The leader claims supreme authority and that he or she is not accountable to any other authorities (not accountable to teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations, the police, or to local, state or federal government laws). *The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. All that is required for power to increase is for the control to ask for something small, and then gradually ask for more until the participants are in the habit of delivering the request with ever greater sacrifices of personal will. I think you missed the point. of, relating to, or characteristic of a cult or cults It also may be exploitative or dangerous. Cult definition: A cult is a fairly small religious group, especially one which is considered strange . But how does this make “cults” special when the world’s most widely respected religions have helped cause and inspire hate, violence, and destruction on a massive scale for centuries and still do today to a significant degree? Our new online dictionaries for schools provide a safe and appropriate environment for children. The world was supposed to be recycling itself.
I am a survivor of cultic abuse and I find this article really misses the point on how cults operate using information control, emotional control, deception, behaviour control and can cause serious psychological harm. *Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

There are religious cults, social cults, business cults: they can exist anywhere.

The word was rare after 17c., but it was revived mid-19c. All rights reserved.

It is the blind leading the blind.

They are real.So then, what is the word we should use for respected world religions when they are, - as you wrote - "secretive and isolate their members from alternative views"? They believe there is no other way to be and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

Why is Scientology less valid because it was invented by a science fiction writer? Area 51, Starship, and Harvest Moon: September’s Words in the News Answer: When people hear the word cult, they often think of a group that worships Satan, sacrifices animals, or takes part in evil, bizarre, and pagan rituals.However, in reality, a cult rarely involves such things. I am a Christian and excluding the cult of Islam(yes it is for the most part, I've actually studied their actual beliefs, and saying Islamic and not studying what the Qran and musings traditionally believe, and a Muslim calling themselves a muslim, but they don't know or follow the Qran or pick & choose, is like saying you're a Christian& doing that with the bible, you're not a Christian at all). A cult is not for the benefit of the group, but is designed to keep leaders in power. And best of all it's ad free, so sign up now and start using at home or in the classroom. An alternate word that might be found insulting is "conman/(woman)". Reporting Rape is Scary; New Laws May Make it Harder

Also if taste dangerous, don't call them "potentially dangerous", wow.

Many minority religions are disparaged because they aren't the formula as before, but they don't have to be.Are you not demonstrating the bias that the author is warning against?

But wait, something’s not quite right here. This verse explains what should happen to Muslims who do not have faith. Study guides for every stage of your learning journey a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred

People who utilize these ambiguous philosophies can often controll individuals. Synonyms for cult include faith, sect, church, persuasion, body, denomination, faction, clique, following and religion.
I'm not sure which religion you mean when you say people can't leave? It provides a counterfeit confidence that enables people to feel good about their own questionable beliefs and group memberships." It is hard to distinguish what makes the New Apostolic Reformation dangerous, if you have not study the Bible for years and are not a actual Christian. Deaths linked to classic “cults” such as the People’s Temple (918 dead) and Heaven’s Gate (39 dead) become miniscule, statistically insignificant, when compared with the oceans of blood associated with popular and respected religions.Another common but erroneous belief is that some groups earn the cult stigmatization because they push unusual and unproven claims. Are you sure your growth isn't aging and experience, something totally unattributable to the "organization" in question?

*The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and its members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).