There’s a phrase being thrown internet discussion groups these days: “People have a desire to belong to something greater than themselves.”
The first time I heard that expression, I said “Yep, I’ve gone through that several times in several ways.”
My first cult was being a binge drinker in my young adult life. I divided the world into two groups: (1) those who partied until they puked, and (2) those who wanted to, but couldn’t.
We have lots of cults, many of them don’t have charismatic leaders.