A cult is defined as a group of people with a religious, philosophical or cultural identity, sometimes viewed as a sect. It is often existing on the margins of society or being exploitative towards its members. But this includes devotion to a person considered to be a saint. Loyalty is the sticking point of its members.
A cult is quite similar to a sect. But differing in that a sect is an offshoot of a larger group, sharing particular (often considered unorthodox) political and/or religious beliefs. A cult is characterized by leadership structures. Loyalty is considered virtuous, even though one might have his own better judgment of situations.
Any member of a cult is hypnotized to think that disloyalty invites condemnation. In Christianity, one is made to fear losing heavenly benefits. In ZANU PF politics, you risk being regarded as belonging to a loathed opposition party.
We have to first deal with the origins of a cult in Christianity, before delving into other areas, with similar patterns. Christianity is founded upon Jesus, mistakenly considered as promoting cultish tendencies. However, Jesus was not a cult leader.
He never encouraged His followers to leave Judaism, except subscribing to the fundamentals of Jewish principles. The eleven disciples were expected to teach only what Jesus commanded them to teach. Jesus never deviated from the Scriptural references, as embodying Judaism.
Corruption had rigged across Judaism so that correcting such errors invited suspicions against Jesus. Nonetheless, each time the religious leaders confronted Jesus, He always used Scripture to show their error. The mission of Jesus was to fulfil Scriptural significance.
Having long deviated from the origins of Judaism, tradition had taken over, rather than maintaining the fundamentals of Judaism. The Jews sought to obey God’s Laws, but without establishing the reasons why. Without understanding the fundamentals, humans are susceptible to manipulation.