Ron Rhodes, The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions: The Essential Guide to Their History, Their Doctrine, and Our Response (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 31–34:
SOCIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTS
I noted previously that even though cults should be defined from a theological point of view, we can nevertheless gain valuable insights into certain aspects of the cultic mentality from sociology. . . .
 Authoritarian Leadership
Authoritarianism involves the acceptance of an authority figure who exercises excessive control on cult members. As prophet or founder, this leader’s word is considered ultimate and final. . . .
Often this authoritarianism involves legalistic submission to the rules and regulations of the group as established by the cult leader (or, as in the case of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, submission to the Watchtower Society). Cult members are fully expected to submit, even if they do not agree with the requirements. Unquestioning obedience is compulsory. [Read more…] about Six Sociological Characteristics of Cults