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Exotericism is the opposite of esotericism in any application. The word is derived from the comparative form of Greek ἔξω eksô, "from, out of, outside". It signifies anything which is public, without limits, or universal.

Many societies are divided into two sections—the exoteric or "public face" and the esoteric or "behind closed doors". Such are many fraternal organizations, such as Freemasonry, which are at some level accessible to the uninitiated but which have higher and higher levels of initiation as one progresses.[citation needed]

The exoteric form of government is one where all actions taken by the government must be both publicly disclosed and ratified by the public. This is often referred to as transparency of governance.