I don't think anyone (with the possible exception of L. Ron Hubbard) starts out thinking "Hey! I think I'll invent a zombie-producing brain-deadening cult!" Organizations for the most part start out with noble intentions and change as time passes.
Some drift toward outright cult status as time goes on, depending on who ends up as the leader(s). A certain type of person craves power and control, and if such a person becomes a religious leader, he endeavors to control that religion's adherents' behavior.
There seems to be a sort of natural progression, an evolution if you will, of such organizations. I think they naturally fall into the same, or very similar, mind-control "traps" because that is what naturally works. Thy don't need to "take lessons" from anyone; controlling techniques just come about naturally and are refined if the organization reaches a critical mass and can continue to propagate itself.