In 16 years training in a variety of styles I have been aware of one dojo - not one I was a member of - that I would consider a cult in that people allowed the dojocho to make decisions over things outside of their on the mat training. That's one out of a whole lotta dojos I"ve visited, trained at seminars w/ folks from, etc.
Word.. Thanks Janet. This is America and here...Most Aikido "Cult" pretenders go out of business PDQ. The last one I saw had to move back overseas because his students all quit over his BS and like all good cult leaders he announced he was just too good for them and split.
Aikido is about making connections...even some that I may not "approve" of (Which to date I can count on the fingers of one hand.)...Again in America Sexual Harassment is very clearly defined from both a legal and a social standpoint and most (including young) woman are capable of drawing the line without help.
My personal life and what I do off the mat is none of my Sensei's business However since I may be the only example someone ever sees of Aikido.. I try to be mindful "off the mat".