Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Place of Safety
All right class, pencils and paper out, time for a quick multiple choice question to see if you've been concentrating.
No Gerry, you may not go to the bathroom now.
Roderick PLEASE remove that pencil from your nostril, accidents happen that way.
Now here's the question; pay attention David!
What is the meaning of the term "place of safety"?
Yes Ronald, I can repeat the question... What is the meaning of "place of safety"?
Stop that whimpering Joe, you only have yourself to blame if you didn't do your homework, and besides, you can always use your excellent common sense to work out which of the answers is most likely.
Oh for mercy's sake, pick yourself off the floor and stop cackling like a loon Mark!
Now, here are your choices:
A. An old rock city in the Jordanian desert
B. A tax shelter in the Bahamas
C. A Nazi concentration camp
D. Denton, Texas
E. The first name given by the Pilgrims to Rhode Island
No Clyde, there isn't an "F" option with "all of the above."
Now pass your papers to the front. Frederick, kindly put your name at the top of the sheet, I am not a mind reader. Robert, you have misspelled your own name again.
Thank you children. William, put away that Prophecy Flash comic book immediately and come up here, I'd like you to read the correct answer from the dictionary of euphemisms.
Given the almost exclusive use of this term in a religious sense by COG people (as a Google search quickly shows) and the fact that it doesn't actually occur in the KJV Bible, a cynic might wonder whether HWA was indulging in a sick private joke when he adopted the expression. Why? Remember what the Place of Safety was meant to offer protection from?
"place of safety: an inhumane prison. Himmler's favored term for his concentration camps."
R. W. Holder, How Not To Say What You Mean: A Dictionary of Euphemisms. p.299
While it's an unlikely connection, it would be still interesting to know if there was any documented use of the expression by HWA prior to World War II.