Is the designation of cult vs. religion just a thought?

I live in an area that is home to the world headquarters of a religion that is viewed as a cult by the majority of people who are not within the organization My husband and I are 16 months into a renovation/addition project on our home that was budgeted to be 8 months. The contractor has made a lot of mistakes that have created delays and obstacles. Some of it has seemed outrageous – especially given the nature of the work they had done for others and the references we checked. We discovered that they are members of the organization I described and every employee as well as the references checked are affiliated, too. Now I have a lot of thoughts that the people have been hired due to affiliation, not skillset. This is being reinforced in my mind by the constant display of ineptitude. I also acknowledge that if I had known in advance, I wouldn’t have hired them because I have thoughts around “my money supporting a cult.”

I’ve done a lot of self coaching and thought work and I’m in a better place overall on the topic – Nothing has gone wrong – There was no definitive timeline – This is a renovation, there are often unpredictable challenges with renovations – You are paying for a service, not supporting a cult -etc.

However, one thing I keep getting stuck on is religion vs. cult. Is it a thought for me “They are members of a cult” since they could have the thought “I am a member of this Church”? I recall Brooke saying a couple of times “I gave all my money to a cult when I was 18.” so I started wondering – is that her C or her T? She says it like it’s a fact – her C. I can’t stop thinking – “Yes, it’s a fact, it’s a cult, they are just brainwashed into thinking it’s a religion” so the idea of it being a religion isn’t their C because they’ve been brainwashed in their thoughts.