…according to 30% of the following definitions. That leaves 70% that show quite the opposite.
So -- are they a cult? Ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the answer is NO! Ask any ex-JW’s and most folks from some other branch of Christianity and their answer is YES! Which is it?
To be honest, there are many definitions of that word. The next time someone asks me the question, “Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a cult?”, I will answer, “Yes, by most definitions they are”.
Ten Definitions of Cult
adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices
fad: an interest followed with exaggerated zeal; "he always follows the latest fads"; "it was all the rage that season"
a system of religious beliefs and rituals; "devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin"
In religion and sociology, a cult is a group of people (often a new religious movement) devoted to beliefs and goals which may be contradictory to those held by the majority of society. Its marginal status may come about either due to its novel belief system or due to idiosyncratic practices that cause the surrounding culture to regard it as far outside the mainstream.
In traditional usage, the cult of a religion, quite apart from its sacred writings ("scriptures"), its theology or myths, or the personal faith of its believers, is the totality of external religious practice and observance, the neglect of which is the definition of impiety. Cult is literally the "care" owed to the god and the shrine. ...By extension, "cult" has come to connote the total cultural aspects of a religion, as they are distinguished from others through change and individualization.
A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity, and in particular, CARM, it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable. A few examples of cults are Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, Christadelphians, Unity, Religious Science, The Way International, and the Moonies. (See also Cults)
(cult) (kult) a system of treating disease based on some special and unscientific theory of disease causation.
Veneration ( or honoring ) of a saint expressed in public acts, local or universal, and formally approved by the Pope.
A religious group which denies the essential doctrines of Christianity. The term is usually reserved for groups founded after 1750.
A following of people.
 To be fair, many religious groups have their own “essential doctrines”. This, therefore, could be highly subjective.