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Mysterious Georgia Guidestones Destroyed By Vandals

Clare Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: Virya Kala / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

A controversial Georgia monument nicknamed “America’s Stonehenge” was destroyed by an explosion on July 6, 2022. The site, which was erected in 1980, had been a popular tourist attraction, drawing some 20,000 visitors annually. This was largely due to the belief by some of its connection to Satanism.

Officially known as the Georgia Guidestones, the 19-foot monument was located along Georgia Highway 77, in Elberton. It was damaged by a group of unknown individuals who “detonated an explosive device,” after which surveillance footage showed a car leaving the scene. While no injuries were reported, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was forced to demolish the remainder of the standing stones, due to safety concerns.

At present, no motive has been established.

This isn’t the first time the monument has been the target of vandals. In 2008, it was covered in graffiti that featured slogans such as “Death to the New World Order,” and, seven years later, “I Am Isis, goddess of love” was painted on the stones. This prompted local officials to install surveillance cameras around the site.

View of the Georgia Guidestones
Photo Credit: Quentin Melson / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

The origin of the Georgia Guidestones has been shrouded in mystery, with no one certain who commissioned their construction. According to a man named Wyatt Martin, the individual behind the monument went by the pseudonym “R.C. Christian.” He approached Martin in 1979 with the idea of creating something to rival Britain‘s Stonehenge.

While he found the Neolithic monument impressive, he said it communicated no messages.

Although Martin told The New York Times that he wouldn’t reveal Christian’s real identity, saying, “I made an oath to that man, and I can’t break that. No one will ever know,” he may have accidentally let slip the information in the documentary, Dark Clouds Over Elberton: The True Story of the Georgia Guidestones.

According to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the documentary’s producers tricked Martin into opening a chest filled with correspondence between him and Christian, which revealed the Guidestones were commissioned by Herbert Kirsten. Kirsten, a doctor from Iowa, had a number of questionable ideologies, including a positive view of white supremacist David Duke.

Inscriptions on the Georgia Guidestones
Photo Credit: Ashley York / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

According to the official website about the Georgia Guidestones, the monument featured a 10-part message about mankind and also served as an astronomic calendar. At noon each day, the sun would shine through a hole in the structure, illuminating the day’s date on an engraving in the stone.

Along with four ancient languages – classical Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Babylonian cuneiform and Sanskrit – inscribed on the sides, near the top, the stones also featured writing in Spanish, English, Swahili, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Hindi and Arabic. Some of the phrases written on the monument included “protect people and nations with fair laws,” “avoid petty laws and useless officials,” and “balance personal rights with social duties.”

A few feet to the west of the structure was an additional granite ledger, which identified the site and listed the languages inscribed and various facts about it. The ledger also referred to a time capsule, but it’s believed one may not have been buried, as spaces intended to be etched with the date the capsule was buried were left blank.

Inscriptions on the Georgia Guidestones
Photo Credit: Jacob Ian Wall / Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

As aforementioned, the Georgia Guidestones are believed by some to be connected to Satanism, a belief that comes from this inscribed phrase: “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”

Those who subscribe to this theory also believe it served as a Satanic altar, with former Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor calling for the drafting of an order that would destroy the “symbols of Satan.”

Other theories surrounding the monument state that the inscriptions are “directions for rebuilding civilization after the apocalypse,” as it was constructed at the height of the Cold War and Christian wanted the stones to be “capable of withstanding the most catastrophic events.”

Yoko Ono even chimed in at one point, saying the messages were “a stirring of rational thinking.”

Aerial view of the Georgia Guidestones
Photo Credit: Jacob Ian Wall / Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

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At present, the future of the demolished Georgia Guidestones remains uncertain. Local businesses have since offered their time and resources to help restore the monument, if that proves to be the next step.