The criteria by which a new minority religion is determined to be dangerous and/or a cult:
1. The organization is willing to place itself above the law.
2. The leadership dictates (rather than suggests) important personal (as opposed to spiritual)details of followers' lives, such as whom to marry, what to study in college, etc.
3. The leader sets forth ethical guidelines members must follow but from which the leader is exempt.
4. The group is preparing to fight a literal, physical Armageddon against other human beings.
5. The leader regularly makes public assertions that he or she knows are false and/or the group has a policy of routinely deceiving outsiders.
from Odd Gods, by James Lewis