The origin of the word “cult” is the Latin word “cultus,” which means “worship” or “adoration.” In antiquity, the term referred to a system of religious or spiritual beliefs and practices, frequently concentrated on the worship of a specific deity or group of deities.
In some instances, the term was also used to characterize a group of people who shared a specific set of beliefs or values and who were perceived to be separate from mainstream society. These groups may engage in rituals or ceremonies that are out of the ordinary, and they may be regarded with suspicion or even hostility by those outside their group.
It is important to note, however, that the term “cult” has acquired a more negative connotation in the modern era, and is frequently associated with detrimental or manipulative religious groups. This negative connotation is not endemic to the original meaning of the word, but rather a result of its usage in modern culture.