By way of definition, perhaps no category of religion has created so much confusion as that of the ‘cult’. Frequently it is a term interchanged freely with that of ‘sect’ or a variety of other labels, most of which have negative connotations. All such classifications of cults are usually associated with deviant forms of religiosity which, more often than not, are in conflict with their social environment. Partly, this generalized appraisal results from a widespread ignorance which associates the cult with dangerous religious movements that embrace a bizarre set of beliefs, led by unscrupulous, often psychologically disturbed, individuals. Media sensationalizing stories of so-called ‘brainwashing’, financial extortion, and abduction of members add to this rather disparaging picture. While there are certainly cults that may display at least some of these characteristics, they are relatively few. The whole area of cults therefore deserves clarification and a broader assessment.