American clinical psychologist Dr Margaret Singer estimated that in the 5,000 over cults in the US, a majority are religious-based. In Britian, the Cult Information Centre puts the rough figure at 500.
In Malaysia, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has listed more than 55 deviant Islamic sects since 2009, but the number of deviant sects or cults from other religions is not clear.
To complicate the tracking effort further is the increased use of the Internet and social media network by cults today. In 2010, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked 26 deviant religious sites after they received complaints from Jakim.
That same year, fugitive leader of the Sky Kingdom or Teapot cult in Trengganu, Ayah Pin, allegedly made an appearance on Facebook to connect with his followers.
Fingers have also been pointed to the Internet as the cultivator of narcissistic and delusional "Messiah" personalities like the Putrajaya amok blogger Khalil Afandi, who purportedly ranted about the state of religion in the country for weeks before his rampage at the PM's office. His sole follower (offline) and accomplice Mudalina was also allegedly recruited online.