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Then I had an epiphany — it occurred to me that I had a ready-made Evil Cult right at hand in the Nazis. It fulfilled all of the requirements, having just the sort of organisation, personalities and inner rivalries that I wanted to represent.
The best part is that it was already made up; all I have to do is to assign new names to the various personalities, maybe give a few of them some powers (the "Hitler", for example, would get some clerical and mind-control powers), and Bob's yer uncle. Instant Evil Cult! It should work for cults of any size, from a couple of hundred, lurking in the shadows, to massive cults oppressing whole populations.
Now to crank up the Everchanging Book of Names and get to work. Now let's see, who's going to be the "Göbbels"......?