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Granite monoliths inscribed with cryptic messages were blasted in rural Georgia early Wednesday, leaving a mysterious legacy that stretches from their origin to their destruction.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said “unknown persons” detonated an explosive device around 4 a.m. and destroyed a large portion of the Georgia Guidestones. Dubbed “America’s Stonehenge,” the structure originally consisted of four 19-foot granite slabs, a center stone, and a smaller block covering the top. Video footage released by law enforcement shows a car leaving the scene shortly after the blast, although GBI did not say whether the driver was linked to the incident. Later in the day, authorities demolished the entire memorial for safety reasons.
The mystery of the Guidestones in Elberton, a town about 110 miles east of Atlanta that calls itself the “granite capital of the world,” can be traced back to the late 1970s. Around this time, a man identified as RC Christian commissioned the project on behalf of a group of out-of-state Americans who wished to remain anonymous, according to the Elberton Granite Association, a trade group. People who knew Christian’s true identity took an oath of secrecy that has not been broken.
Wanting to make “a moral appeal” to humanity, according to the trade group, the backers of the Guidestones have etched 10 guiding principles into the stones. The Multilingual Handbook for Mankind has been a popular site for visitors for the last four decades.
The instructions, repeated in eight languages on the four upright panels, are largely uncontroversial. They urge humanity to protect nature and take care of their fellow citizens. But two posts caused a stir: they called for a cap on the world population to 500 million and encouraged reproduction to improve “fitness and diversity”. (Roughly 4 billion people lived in the late 1970s.)
Scientists discover origin of Stonehenge stones – quarries 180 miles away
Right-wing conspiracy theorists like Infowars founder Alex Jones have seized upon the edicts as evidence of a nefarious globalist scheme. In a 2008 documentary, he pointed to the granite slabs as evidence that global elites plotted to enslave most of the world. During the coronavirus pandemic, misinformation circulated linking the emergence of the virus to the Guidestones.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has promoted and supported unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, told Jones in an interview Wednesday that the memorial depicts a future of “population control” as envisioned by the “hard left.”
“There is a war going on between good and evil, and people are done with globalism,” she said, adding that she would await the results of the investigation.
The Guidestones were also featured in the state’s GOP gubernatorial primary earlier this year. Educator Kandiss Taylor, who finished a distant third behind victorious incumbent Brian Kemp, vowed to take down the monument and fight the “Luciferian cabal” she suspected was behind it. On Wednesday, she called the Guidestones “satanic,” applauded the destruction, and hinted that the incident could be an act of God.
Despite the controversy, many Elberton residents are proud of the Guidestones. City Mayor Daniel Graves said the memorial is a testament to the exemplary craftsmanship of local masons, according to the Atlanta Journal constitution.
“There is only one community in the world that could erect a monument like this,” he added.