At what point does a cult become an established, recognized religion? At what point can it or should it be accepted? When referring to a worshiping group a cult, should we consider the perspective of its followers who believe it to be a true religion or do we call it what we think it is - a cult? Who determines what is a cult and what isn't? How does one do this? Who are we (or anyone identifying the status of a group) to dictate whether a cult is negative or positive? Aren't cults and religions equally dangerous in one way or another? Haven't many recognized religions involved unorthodox practices and deadly outcomes for their followers, such as human sacrifice? Where can one find the definite line between a religion that is harmful to its followers and a cult that is harmful to its followers? Isn't the majority of the system of differentiating cults and religions based on the number of followers? Is Scientology a cult or a real religion? If it is a real religion, how was it not a real religion ten years ago? Did its changed status and acceptance only come because of the increased number of followers or of famous celebrity followers like Tom Cruise who were able to help sell the idea? If a group stems off a recognized religion, should it be accepted as well for following the same (or some of the same) original beliefs? If yes, how different can the main beliefs of the group be from the original religion before it should be considered a cult? If I come up with more I'll add to the list. Thanks to anyone who might be able to intelligently answer any of the above questions. I've never really gotten any answers.