Actually, if you think about it, the Jedi are very similar to a cult… or more like a “sect.” There is a “rebirth” process that takes place as the new member becomes resocialized in the institution of the Jedi Way. They are “led” by certain mentors and teachers, as well as usually look up to one or more charasmatic leaders. The Jedi themselves, are said to be led by the Force, which in cults would be construed as being divine inspiration… There is a certain amount of rejection of lifestyle patterns when one chooses this path. There will be a loss of friends or familiarity with family members as others reject what the new Jedi does and believes. The Jedi do not appeal to everyone. Instead, the Jedi appeal to those that have “different” beliefs and abilities, so there is a natural exclusion of society’s doctrine that takes place. There are other examples, but when looked at objectiveley, we could be seen as a cult or a sect. Bearing that in mind, that is why I believe that it is necessary to form a system of bueracratic red tape, select leaders that are fair and open-minded and dedicated to the true meaning of the Jedi and that is to serve others.
Having went on that tangent, I would also like to answer the question of this thread. I don’t go around telling everyone that I follow the Jedi Path, but they have asked questions and I have answered. Others just started calling me “Jedi” because they said that I “philosophized about Jedi junk” too much. I didn’t argue. So, now it’s more of an accepted thing to those that live around me and my community. As far as family goes, they just saw it as a natural progression. I spent my childhood “training” to become a Jedi, so now they think that I am a bit off-the-rocker, but not harmful. I don’t mind.