All religious groups are guilty of allowing tradition to overrule the truth of the Word of God, but some are founded upon the traditions of men and therefore are trusting upon men's ideas for the salvation of their soul! The dictionary definition of cult is a good place to start:
1. A system or community of religious worship and ritual,
2. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or bogus
3. Obsessive devotion or veneration for a person, principle, or ideal,
especially when regarded as a fad.
(Taken from The American Heritage Dictionary.)
These definitions accurately describe the major cults we will be covering especially definition number 2. for the majority of the cults found in the USA today have an obsessive devotion or veneration for a person, usually the one who began the cult and established the system of beliefs held by it's adherents/members.
One of the most prominent cults found in the USA is the Jehovah's Witnesses. This group fits the dictionary definition of a cult precisely. A system of religious worship which is extreme or bogus with veneration for a person or ideal. The Jehovah's Witnesses was begun by Charles Taze Russell in the 1870's. He published a magazine called 'Zion's Watch Tower' later called 'The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom' having a circulation of two million a month by the 1950's.
He was denounced by a Baptist pastor as an anti-Christian, anti-Bible fraud causing Russell to sue for 'defamatory libel'. Russell lost the suit and in turn was convicted for perjury! His dishonesty and lack of morals is on the record in the police court of Hamilton, Ontario December 9, 1912! When he died in 1916 'The Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society' was taken over by Joseph Franklin Rutherford who was Russell's attorney. He introduced the false idea that each member was one of Jehovah's final witnesses to the nations, hence, the Jehovah's Witnesses'. The movement spread rapidly under his leadership as he produced over 100 books and pamphlets translated into many languages. Rutherford died in 1944.
Their name is falsely premised on Isaiah 43:10-12 because these verses in context are addressed to the people of Israel (Isaiah 43:1). But, the born-again Bible believer is commanded in Acts 1:8 by the Lord Jesus Christ to be witnesses unto Him, our Savior and Lord! Acts 1:22,2:32 & 3:15 also teaches the Christian to be witnesses of the Lord's resurrection, however the Jehovah's Witnesses instead deny the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.