Definitions of terms:

Cults, Sects and Denominations

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"...if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps the religion;
and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;
but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult."
Leo Pfeffer.  A humorous quotation, but one that is uncomfortably close to reality.

Meanings of the Word CULT

There is no generally accepted, single, current definition for the word "cult," or for many other religious terms. This leads to confusion over the meanings of certain religious terms, such as Christian, cult hell, heaven, occult, Paganism, salvation, Witch, Witchcraft, Unitarian, Universalist, Voodoo, etc. A reader must often look at the context in which the word is used in order to guess at the intent of the writer.

In the newsgroup alt.usage.english, terms like this one are often called "skunk words." They have varied meanings to different people. In fact, they have so many meanings that they often cause misunderstandings wherever they are used. Unfortunately, most people do not know this, and naturally assume that the meaning that they have been taught is the universal definition of the term.

The term "Unitarian" is a good example: