New religious movements have intrigued scholars for decades. Oftentimes, people only research these groups when they find themselves at odds with their societies, resulting in a negative bias. This work presents a scientific approach that tries to answer the question: Why do new religions form? It tries to understand how humans interact with religious groups and their actions as a dynamic cognitive system. At all points, this work intends to be interdisciplinary, incorporating religious scholarship, anthropology, sociology, and evolutionary psychology. It proposes that specific types of religious leadership destabilize religious ritual systems in a specific way, which leads to the atrocities performed by some religious cults or to our great world religions. This work defends the cognitive science of religion as the best approach currently being utilized to study such complex human phenomena.