Cult has gone through a similar change. I have a Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary that I received in 1970, a mere 33 years ago. Compare this definition with the 1994 Heritage one above: cult : 1. formal religious veneration: worship. 2. a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also, its body of adherents. 3. a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator. 4. great and faddish devotion; also, its object or adherents. In the press journalists still use the term in several, appropriate ways: A celebrity has a cult following, a movie has reached cult status, the perpetrator appears to belong to a religious cult, or the Catholic Church approves the cult (veneration) of a new saint. Some scholars of religion who concentrate on the new religious movements came to hate the label. By the early 1970s influential Evangelical Christians and some anti-cultists began to use the term liberally as a pejorative, alleging that a cult or deviant sect was either satanically influenced or utilized brainwashing techniques or both.
He added: "While the worst excesses of celebrity culture may lend themselves to lurid headlines, it is worth remembering that there are many more celebrities who set a good example on a local and national level.
The Cult of Celebrity Fame is a fickle beast
"They believe that they are much more likely to achieve financial well-being through celebrity than through progression to higher education and a 'proper' career."'Lurid headlines'A secondary teacher from Colchester, Essex, quizzed in the survey said the media focus on celebrities' "negative behaviour" encouraged underage drinking and anti-social behaviour"Those celebs who are excellent sportsmen or excellent actors are often overlooked and not shown as desirable to kids."But nearly three-quarters of teachers said they thought a focus on celebrity culture could have a positive effect as well as a negative one.