(Discussion with a friend, who identifies with the crowd: "Is it a cult? Yes, but a good one!")
I wonder if they were aware the concept has quite a history.
> It's a nice excuse to get together and have a bit of a community spirit but without the religion aspect
> It's not a church, it's a congregation of unreligious people.
Seems more a gathering of same-minded persons than a real cult.
Here's some more differentiators, but you can search "warning signs for a cult"... there's no standard list that I'm aware of.
- Separating people from their outsider friends&family
- Over time absorbing all of member's financial assets
- Punishment for leaving
- Members discouraged from questioning orthodoxy
- Non-volunteer or otherwise coerced unpaid labor
- A culture of hiding information from outsiders
- The leader has exclusive claim to ultimate truth
- Regardless of harm, the leader's behavior is justified
2. The classical definition of "cult" has almost no overlap with today's perjorative evolution of the word and just means a system of worship.
``` The word "cult" in French means "a form of worship", without any of its negative or exclusivist implications in English; its proponents intended it to be a universal congregation.
"Culte" in French and "sect" in English are neutral.
"Secte" in French and "cult" in English have negative connotations.
Edit: misread the question originally, though it asked about the reason for including it here. Rewrote it to answer the actual question.
Sounds a bit like Burning Man