This question is one of the most often asked when people contact Info-Cult.

Over the years the term "cult" has taken on a generally negative connotation. Subsequently, we see it having a limited use, especially in providing meaningful information to the public and in developing an understanding about a group.

Info-Cult neither maintains nor intends to maintain a list of "cults". There is often an assumption that a group's presence on such a list confers useful knowledge about the group. This is inaccurate in the same fashion that the absence of a group from such a list does not imply that they are harmless.

Whether a group can be considered a cult, and whether they can be considered dangerous, is a complex assessment that depends upon a number of factors. Accordingly, Info-Cult does not respond with a simple yes or no to the question as to whether a group can be considered a cult, or not.

For a fuller discussion as to what is a cult and related matters, see "Cults" and Globalization: Reflections and Questions by Mike Kropveld, Info-Cult's Executive Director.
Furthermore, Info-Cult's views and perspectives on cult phenomena are reflected in a book published by Info-Cult, The Cult Phenomenon: How Groups Function, available (here).

For more about Definitional Issues see Introduction to the ICSA 2007 Annual Conference.

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