This thesis tackles the question of how deeply rooted esoteric and pseudo-scientific doctrines are in modern society. The main point of interest is a certificate called „Ö-Cert“ that was implemented as a tool for warranting quality standards in adult education. It is meant to ensure that no dubious con- tents are part of course offerings. The hypotheses that guide the analyses are that 1.) the understand- ing of education as well as 2.) the definition of esotericism in the Ö-Cert guidelines are a bit too narrow to live up to the intended aspirations. A large proportion of the text is devoted to developing a comprehensive concept of esotericism: It is largely based upon socio-psychological reflections and socio-historical portrayals. The idea is that esotericism is at the same time expression of and re- action to the modernization process since the early 19. Century that still reverberate today. Also the text concentrates on the dangers esoteric thinking poses for democratic values: Even though the in- volvement in esoteric practices is mostly a way for individuals to cope with personal problems, it can be shown that esoteric thinking is carried over to views of society in general.