What is the difference between a religion and a cult?

“Cult leaders are not elected,” says cult specialist and deprogrammer Rick Alan Ross. “And, I would say that in the United States, the overwhelming majority of religious organizations are democratically governed. They have checks and balances; they have a constitution, they have by-laws, they have boards, they have transparency.”

“When we’re talking destructive cults, all that is out the window, and it’s the all-powerful leader that’s being worshipped,” Ross continues.

Watch the video above to hear more about the important differences between religious organizations and cults, then tune in to Wednesday’s episode of Dr. Phil, “Cult Vibes?” to hear about some of the red flags and warning signs of what constitutes a cult.

Check your local listing for air times.

Rick Alan Ross is the author of “Cults Inside Out: How People Can Get in and Can Get Out.” Available wherever books are sold.

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