Georgia Guidestones

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Georgia Guidestones
File:Georgia Guidestones in Elbert County, GA.jpg
Georgia Guidestones in May 2022
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Location Elbert County, Georgia, US
Material Granite
Height 19 ft 3 in (5.87 m)
Opening date March 22, 1980 (1980-03-22)
Dismantled date July 6, 2022

The Georgia Guidestones was a granite monument that stood in Elbert County, Georgia, United States from 1980 to 2022. It was 19 feet 3 inches (5.87 m) tall and made from six granite slabs weighing a total of 237,746 pounds (107,840 kg).[1] The structure was sometimes referred to as an "American Stonehenge".[2] The creators of the monument believed that there was going to be an upcoming social, nuclear, or economic calamity and wanted the monument to serve as a guide for humanity afterward.[3] Though initially garnering little controversy, they ultimately became the subject of conspiracy theories alleging a connection to satanism.[4]

On the morning of July 6, 2022, the guidestones were heavily damaged in a bombing,[5] and were later dismantled on the same day.[6][7]

History

Construction

In June 1979, a man using the pseudonym Robert C. Christian approached the Elberton Granite Finishing Company on behalf of "a small group of loyal Americans", and commissioned the structure. Christian explained that the stones would function as a compass, calendar, and clock, and should be capable of "withstanding catastrophic events".[1] The man reportedly used the pseudonym as a reference to his Christian religion.[8] Christian said he wanted a granite monument built that could rival the British Neolithic monument Stonehenge, drawing inspiration from the structure after a visit.[9][10] However, he said that while impressive, Stonehenge had no message to communicate.[10]

Joe Fendley of Elberton Granite believed that Christian was "a nut" and attempted to discourage him by providing a price quote for the commission which was several times higher than any project the company had previously taken, explaining that the guidestones would require additional tools and consultants. To Fendley's surprise, Christian accepted the quote.[1] When arranging payment, Christian claimed that he represented a group which had been planning the guidestones for 20 years and which wanted to remain anonymous.[1] The location was chosen because of the high amount of local granite, and the weather would be ideal for the monument.[11][3] The total cost of the project was not revealed, but it was over $100,000.[3]

Christian delivered a scale model of the guidestones and ten pages of specifications.[1] The 5-acre (2-hectare) site was purchased by Christian from a local farm owner.[12] The owner and his children were given lifetime cattle grazing rights on the guidestones site.[1] The monument was located off of Georgia State Route 77 around 7 miles (11 km) north of the city of Elberton.[13][14][15]

On March 22, 1980, the monument was unveiled by congressman Doug Barnard before an audience of between 200 and 300 people.[10] At the unveiling, the Master of Ceremonies read a message to the gathered audience which read:

"In order to avoid debate, we the sponsors of the Georgia Guidestones, have a simple message for human beings, now and for the future. We believe our precepts are sound, and they must stand on their own merits."[11]

Christian later transferred ownership of the land and the guidestones to Elbert County.[12] By 1981, barbed wire fencing had to be erected around the monument to keep cattle out as they had been using it for a scratching post.[3]

Fendley believed that the monument would become a tourist attraction for the region.[9] As of 2022, there reportedly were 20,000 annual visitors.[16]

Reaction

File:Georgia Guidestones vandalism.jpg
The stones defaced with polyurethane paint and graffiti

In 2008, the stones were defaced with polyurethane paint and graffiti with slogans such as "Death to the New World Order".[17] Wired magazine called the defacement "the first serious act of vandalism in the guidestones' history".[1] In September 2014, an employee of the Elbert County maintenance department contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation when the stones were vandalized with graffiti including the phrase "I Am Isis, goddess of love".[18] After the acts of vandalism, security cameras were installed on the site.[16]

Kandiss Taylor, a candidate in the 2022 Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, claimed in a campaign ad that the Guidestones were "Satanic", and her campaign platform called for the monument to be removed.[4]

Description

Inscriptions

A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles was engraved on the Georgia Guidestones in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones. Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages were English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, and Russian.[8] The languages were chosen because they represented most of humanity, while Hebrew was chosen because of its connections to Judaism and Christianity.[8] The inscriptions are reportedly according to the organizers to guide humanity to conserve nature after a nuclear war, which the creators thought was an imminent threat.[8][10]

The inscription read:[17]

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the Earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature.

Explanatory tablet

An explanatory tablet was set alongside the stones

A few feet to the west of the monument, an additional granite ledger had been set level with the ground. This tablet identified the structure and the languages used on it and listed various facts about the size, weight, and astronomical features of the stones, the date it was installed, and the sponsors of the project.[citation needed] It referred to a time capsule buried under the tablet, but blank spaces on the stone intended for filling in the dates on which the capsule was buried and was to be opened had not been inscribed, so it is uncertain if the time capsule was ever actually put in place.[citation needed]

The text of the explanatory tablet was somewhat inconsistent with respect to punctuation and misspelled the word "pseudonym".[citation needed] The original spelling, punctuation, and line breaks in the text have been preserved in the transcription (letter case is not). At the top center of the tablet was written:

The Georgia Guidestones

Center cluster erected March 22, 1980

Immediately below this was the outline of a square, inside which was written:

Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason

Around the edges of the square were written translations to four ancient languages, one per edge. Starting from the top and proceeding clockwise, they were: Babylonian (in cuneiform script), Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Ancient Egyptian (in hieroglyphs).[8][3]

The guidestones' "Astronomic features"
Undated instructions for the site's time capsule

On the left side of the tablet was a column of text (metric conversion added):

Astronomic features

1. Channel through stone
indicates celestial pole
2. Horizontal slot indicates
annual travel of sun
3. Sunbeam through capstone
marks noontime throughout
the year

Author: R.C. Christian
(a pseudonyn) [sic]

Sponsors: A small group
of Americans who seek
the Age of Reason

Time Capsule
Placed six feet [1.83 m] below this spot
On
To be opened on

The words appeared as shown under the time capsule heading; no dates were engraved.[citation needed]

Physical data

On the right side of the tablet was a column of text (metric conversions added):[citation needed]

PHYSICAL DATA

1. OVERALL HEIGHT – 19 FEET 3 INCHES [5.87 m].
2. TOTAL WEIGHT – 237,746 POUNDS [107,840 kg].
3. FOUR MAJOR STONES ARE 16 FEET,
   FOUR INCHES [4.98 m] HIGH, EACH WEIGHING
   AN AVERAGE OF 42,437 POUNDS [19,249 kg].
4. CENTER STONE IS 16 FEET, FOUR-
   INCHES [4.98 m] HIGH, WEIGHS 20,957
   POUNDS [9,506 kg].
5. CAPSTONE IS 9-FEET, 8-INCHES [2.95 m]
   LONG, 6-FEET, 6-INCHES [1.98 m] WIDE;
   1-FOOT, 7-INCHES [0.48 m] THICK. WEIGHS
   24,832 POUNDS [11,264 kg].
6. SUPPORT STONES (BASES) 7-FEET,
   4 INCHES [2.24 m] LONG 2-FEET [0.61 m] WIDE.
   1 FOOT, 4-INCHES [0.41 m] THICK, EACH
   WEIGHING AN AVERAGE OF 4,875
   POUNDS [2,211 kg].
7. SUPPORT STONE (BASE) 4-FEET,
   2½ INCHES [1.28 m] LONG, 2-FEET, 2-INCHES [0.66 m]
   WIDE, 1-FOOT, 7-INCHES [0.48 m] THICK.
   WEIGHT 2,707 POUNDS [1,228 kg].
8. 951 CUBIC FEET [26.9 m³] GRANITE.
9. GRANITE QUARRIED FROM PYRAMID
   QUARRIES LOCATED 3 MILES [5 km] WEST
   OF ELBERTON, GEORGIA.

Guidestone languages

Below the two columns of text were written the caption "GUIDESTONE LANGUAGES", with a diagram of the granite slab layout beneath it. The names of eight modern languages were inscribed along the long edges of the projecting rectangles, one per edge.[citation needed] Starting from due north and moving clockwise around so that the upper edge of the northeast rectangle was listed first, they were English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. At the bottom center of the tablet was the text:

Additional information available at Elberton Granite Museum & Exhibit

College Avenue
Elberton, Georgia

Astronomical features

The four outer stones were oriented to mark the limits of the 18.6 year lunar declination cycle.[19] The center column featured a hole drilled at an angle from one side to the other, through which the North Star could be seen. The same pillar had a slot carved through it which was aligned with the Sun's solstices and equinoxes. A ​78-in (22 mm) aperture in the capstone allowed a ray of sun to pass through at noon each day, shining a beam on the center stone indicating the day of the year.[1]

Interpretations

One interpretation of the stones is that they described the basic concepts required to rebuild a devastated civilization.[1] Author Brad Meltzer notes that the stones were built in 1979 at the height of the Cold War, and thus argues that they may have been intended as a message to the possible survivors of a nuclear World War III. The engraved suggestion to keep humanity's population below 500 million could have been made under the assumption that war had already reduced humanity below this number.[20]

Yoko Ono said the inscribed messages were "a stirring call to rational thinking".[1]

Conspiracy theories

The guidestones became a subject of interest for conspiracy theorists. Wired stated that unspecified opponents have labeled them as the "Ten Commandments of the Antichrist".[1] Some conservative Christians have called the monument Satanic.[4]

Right-wing activist Mark Dice demanded that the guidestones "be smashed into a million pieces, and then the rubble used for a construction project",[21] claiming that the guidestones are of "a deep Satanic origin", and that R. C. Christian belongs to "a Luciferian secret society" related to the New World Order.[1] At the unveiling of the monument, a local minister proclaimed that he believed the monument was "for sun worshipers, for cult worship and for devil worship".[22] None of these critics provided any evidence of their claims.[1][21][22]

Conspiracy theorist Jay Weidner has said that the pseudonym of the man who commissioned the stones – "R. C. Christian" – resembles Rose Cross Christian, or Christian Rosenkreuz, the founder of the Rosicrucian Order.[1]

The guidestones were featured extensively in a 2012 episode of Mysteries at the Museum, a "Monumental Mysteries Special" featuring Don Wildman.[23]

Destruction

File:Georgia Guidestones explosion.webm
Footage of the July 6th bombing of the Georgia Guidestones monument

On July 6, 2022, an explosion occurred at the site, destroying the Swahili/Hindi language slab and causing significant damage to the capstone. Nearby residents reportedly heard and felt explosions at around 4:00 a.m.[24][16] CCTV footage recorded a vehicle leaving the scene and police are investigating the incident.[16] The remaining stones were dismantled by authorities later in the day with a backhoe for safety reasons according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.[25][2]

The Elbert County Sheriff's Office is investigating the bombing, with assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.[26] On the evening of the bombing, the GBI released a video showing both the explosion, and a vehicle of interest leaving the scene shortly before.[27] No motive has been publicly shared, and no suspects publicly identified.[28] As of July 6, 2022, no arrests have been made.[29]

A video shows a flash of light in front of the structure followed by an explosion and collapse of the stone tablet. Some conspiracy theorists and Kandiss Taylor claim the destruction was "an act of God."[30][4] She also stated that if it was vandalism, "Those people should be brought to justice."[2] A prosecutor called it an act of domestic terrorism.[31]

See also

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Sullivan, Randall (April 20, 2009). "American Stonehenge: Monumental Instructions for the Post-Apocalypse". Wired. Vol. 17 no. 5. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Stelloh, Tim (July 7, 2022). "Georgia Guidestones monument is destroyed after explosion". NBC News. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Montgomery, Bill (June 21, 1981). "Elbert's Guidestones get help from mystery man". Atlanta Constitution. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Amy, Jeff (July 6, 2022). "Georgia slabs called satanic by some torn down after bombing". Associated Press. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Alund, Natalie Neysa (July 6, 2022). "Georgia Guidestones: Rural monument that some call satanic damaged in bombing, police say". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Albeck-Ripka, Livia (July 6, 2022). "Explosion Destroys Mysterious Monument in Georgia, Authorities Say". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "The Georgia Guidestones demolished after explosion 'destroyed' portion, GBI says". WAGA-TV. July 6, 2022. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022. Investigators said unknown people detonated an explosive device at around 4 a.m. Elbert County investigators arrived and noted a large portion of the structure was damaged.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "Stones bear note for the future". The Herald. Associated Press. March 24, 1980. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 LaGrone, Jeff (January 16, 1980). "'Georgia's Stonehenge' getting Final Touches". Anderson Independent. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Eberton Unveils Mystery Stones". The Atlanta Constitution. United Press International. March 23, 1980. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 LaGrone, Jeff (March 23, 1980). "Message Left for future Generations: Georgia's Stone Monument Unveiled". Anderson Independent. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 Williams, Robert L. (November 21, 1993). "What are Stonehenge-style monuments doing in rural Georgia?". The Charlotte Observer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Don Rhodes (October 1, 2015). Georgia Myths and Legends: The True Stories Behind History’s Mysteries (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4930-1599-3. OCLC 1162494331. Perhaps the strangest and most mysterious use of granite from the Elberton area can be seen seven miles north of the city on a hill that contains the mysterious Georgia Guidestones<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Dennis William Hauck (2002). Haunted Places: The National Directory : Ghostly Abodes, Sacred Sites, UFO Landings, and Other Supernatural Locations. Penguin. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-14-200234-6. OCLC 1001864537. The Guidestone are on a grassy knoll along Highway 77, about seven miles north of Elberton.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Janice McDonald (August 1, 2016). Georgia Off the Beaten Path®: Discover Your Fun (11 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-4930-2590-9. OCLC 1100885029. Georgia Guidestones is on GA 77, 7.2 miles north of town.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Moore, Stephanie (July 6, 2022). "Videos released of explosion at Georgia Guidestones; structure demolished, GBI says". WYFF4. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Georgia Guidestones: 'America's Stonehenge' demolished after blast". BBC News. July 7, 2022. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Ford, Wayne (September 8, 2014). "Vandals deface mysterious Georgia Guidestones in Elbert County". Online Athens. Archived from the original on October 1, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Georgia Guidestones". Northeast Georgia Mountains Travel Association. Archived from the original on January 12, 2009. The four large upright blocks pointing outward are oriented to the limits of the migration of the Moon during the course of the year.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Apocalypse in Georgia". Brad Meltzer's Decoded, episode 110 (February 3, 2011).
  21. 21.0 21.1 Gary Jones (May 18, 2005). "The Georgia Guidestones: Tourist Attraction or Cult Message?". The Elberton Star. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 Moran, Mark McGuire; Sceurman, Mark (2004). Weird U.S.. Barnes & Noble. p. 193. ISBN 0-7607-5043-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Monumental Mysteries Archived December 9, 2020, at the Wayback Machine. Travelchannel.com (July 13, 2012). Retrieved on November 28, 2020.
  24. "Georgia Guidestones in Elbert County vandalized". Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Gorman, Steve (July 7, 2022). "Explosion rocks Georgia Guidestones, dubbed 'America's Stonehenge'". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Explosion 'destroyed' portion of Georgia Guidestones, GBI says". www.fox5ny.com. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "GBI releases surveillance videos of explosion at Georgia Guidestones, car speeding away". WSB-TV Channel 2 - Atlanta. July 7, 2022. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Georgia Guidestones: 'America's Stonehenge' damaged in bomb attack". The Independent. July 6, 2022. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Alund, Natalie Neysa. "Georgia Guidestones: Rural monument that some call satanic damaged in bombing, police say". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Georgia Guidestones explosion - live: Hunt for 'American Stonehenge' attackers as conspiracists blame lightning". The Independent. July 7, 2022. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022 – via MSN.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Georgia prosecutor calls explosion at 'America's Stonehenge' an act of domestic terrorism". NBC News. July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links