I have mentioned before that to see what a cult is (and especially to see if the religious group one is involved with is really a cult), the best thing is to study these two groups, and the writings of people that were brave enough to leave the cult after being enslaved for many years.
[An important factor for me is that I can stomach them to some degree. Other cults are so bad that I simply can't read about them. Other cults also have religious overtones for me that are too close to my own beliefs, so I can't look at them objectively.]
In Torah. there is are some mystic things going on. The best parts of that aspect also seem to be in the Middle Ages with Avraham Abulafia. and later on around the 1500's with Isaac Luria. Those two seem the best. There were two pretty great people after Isaac Luria which developed that tradition Shalom Sharabi and Yaakov Abuchatzaira. That is the basic outline of the best parts of those two traditions.
The trouble with the mystic tradition is it fell into the Dark Side; and thus the world of Orthodox has a great deal of trouble because it mainly consists of cults that are claiming some exclusive access and knowledge of Isaac Luria.
I do not know how to deal with these problems except by private prayer towards God--to pray and ask help in one's on language t be save from what one needs to be saved from. And to learn Musar. That is Torah books from the Middle Ages before the Dark Side gt to be a part and almost the whole of Orthodox.
I have to mention that God does not seem to answer prayer unless it comes with a change in deeds. Therefore I believe if you see God is far, then you need to try to determine what it is in your life not as God wills it, and to make a commitment to change.
Not to take some good thing and accept it, but rather something that you already have good reason to believe is Gods will for you personally.
Personal failings you think you need to correct-the best thing is to make a commitment (without an oath) to correct.
That is there are things which are good to do as a general rule: learning Musar of Reb Israel Salanter, learning the books of the Gra, learning the Av Ezri of Rav Shach. But when I say to make commitments to act right I am referring to things you already know you need to improve but are simply lacking the will power. I believe doing this can make a breakthrough in you life and brings you wishes and needs before God. Commitments have to be possible to keep. The only thing in the way is lack of desire or willpower.
Still there are general things which are important to do even without making a specific commitment. That is to learn Musar. The reason is that Musar [books of Torah ethics written during the Middle Ages] give the most straight and simple way of keeping the holy Torah. That is why all teh cults ignore Musar. They are afraid people will read Musar and discover what the Torah really requires of men and women. And that is not what thy cults say.