Pseudoreligion, or pseudotheology, is a generally pejorative term applied to a non-mainstream belief system or philosophy which is functionally similar to a religious movement, typically having a founder, principal text, liturgy and faith-based beliefs. Belief systems such as Theosophy, corporate Kabbalism,Christian Science, and the Nation of Islam have all been referred to as pseudoreligions, as have various New Age religions, as well as political ideologies such as Nazism. Within the academic debate, ideologies that resemble religion are sometimes referred to as political religions.
While the more serious-minded participants in these groups may prefer to consider themselves part of a proper religion, or not part of a religion at all, the mainstream ascribes to them a fringe status. Such groups as the Raëlian Church and Heaven's Gate, seen as dangerous, exploitative, secretive, or closed, have been classified as pseudoreligious cults.