Originally posted by robbie carrobie
yes this is fine and good, however, can we try to establish some general characteristics of a cult, for example, they have a charismatic and dominant leader, Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, leader, Shoko Asahara or the Branch Davidiands who were laid under siege in Waco Texas, leader David Koresh.
The Roman Catholic Church under the current Pope (referred to by some as God's Rottweiler and the Panzer Pope). Not the Anglican Church as recent archbishops of Canterbury have had all the charisma of overcooked Brussels sprouts. Not Islam as there is no one leader although no doubt various bits count as cults by your measure.
I can see that your choice of a single charismatic leader as a defining feature automagically excludes the Jehovah's Witnesses as a cult since their leaders are virtually invisible. I prefere this from another thread: "a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc." which has the fortunate side effect of making atheism a cult by virtue of the veneration of the ideal of godlessness.
By your definition, several governments and companies are cults or have been in the recent past. Apple, for instance, had a charismatic and dominant leader in Steve Jobs. Actually, I think Apple might well be a cult! My nearest and dearest all worship at the Temple of Steve in Exeter's Princesshay on a regular basis while I quizz the priests on why I should pay so much for a shiny silver box that doesn't do what I want.