General estimates of the extent of the New Religions phenomenon vary considerably. The two basic quantitative questions in this area are: How many groups? And, How many people? These questions are not as simple as they might at first appear. A more fundamental question involves classification: Where does one draw the line between alternative and non-alternative religions? What one finds when one actually tries to determine where to draw such a line is that the difference between “mainstream” and “alternative” is a matter of degree rather than a sharply defined distinction.