Government and the Alien Scapegoat
Symbolically, a scapegoat was sent into the wilderness in a biblical ceremony to bear the guilt for others. In our day, philosophical anthropologists describe the phrase “scapegoat mechanism” as a misinformation procedure. As maintained by the theories of scapegoat psychology, aggression is displaced on an easy villain.
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Below the foothills of the settlement, unknown spies gathered to map and prepare a surprise assault. The community encampment, high above, gave fretful attention to an assessor’s forewarning. Some shuddered. “We’re doomed,” said a counselor. “They’ll return with an army of soldiers.”
“Not so,” replied the high priest. “Send Azazel,” he waved to a sickly goat, far-off outside the camp. It lay on its face with spongy waste oozing from its head. The high priest selected a troop to get ready the goat Azazel. No wearing of leather or wool and linen woven together was allowed within the group, for that would bring the poor health of Azazel into the encampment. The entire population was not to eat in public.
Women in the troop were skilled in the talent of ornamenting the body, dying the hair, and painting the face and the eyebrows. They applied the fine art of beautifying Azazel by dye and paint.
Workers made a vestment of golden braces. They strapped the ailing goat’s withered legs and varnished its brittle horns. They fastened a scarlet woolen thread, needle stitched, to close the moldy sore on Azazel’s head. The woolen thread was extremely long, since Azazel was sightless from diseases that affected its nervous system, and needed to be guided toward the enemy position. Ten booths were constructed at intervals along the road leading from the community encampment to the steep mountain rock face.
“Men were stationed at intervals along the way, and as soon as the goat was thrown down the precipice, they signaled to one another by means of kerchiefs or flags, until the information reached the high priest.”
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