Tucked away in the Northeast Georgia Mountains once stood a mysterious set of five 19-foot granite stones with 10 guidelines inscribed in eight languages known as “America’s Stonehenge” that suggested humanity maintain itself by keeping the population under 500 million people in perpetual balance with nature.
Formally known as the Georgia Guidestones, the 240,000-pound slabs of granite stood near the city of Elberton for over 40 years until a mysterious explosion occurred early Wednesday morning. The detonation damaged a large portion of the structure the point that construction crews had no choice but to finish the job.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation said preliminary information indicates that unknown individuals detonated an explosive device at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday. Elbert County Sheriff’s Office authorities were the first on the scene to discover the explosion significantly damaged one of the four stones.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the cause of the explosion remains under investigation, and authorities have not arrested or identified any suspects.
The monument’s beginnings were as big a mystery as its demise.
In 1980, a man using the pseudonym Robert C. Christian constructed “America’s Stonehenge” to function as a compass, calendar, and clock. Yet the origins and its purpose remain a puzzle, as no one knows the true identity of the man or group who sponsored the Guidestones.
Aside from the Guidestone’s first message, which more or less promoted a global depopulation agenda, the other nine “instructions” were universal self-help recommendations.
The stones encouraged humanity to guide reproduction wisely through improving fitness and diversity, bring humanity together using a living new language, and rule with passion, faith, tradition, and reason. Other guidelines called for protecting people and nations with fair laws and just courts while letting all countries rule internally and resolve external disputes in a world court.
“Avoid petty laws and useless officials,” one guideline read.
Another stone’s inscription called for balancing personal rights with social duties, followed by a rule to prize truth, beauty, and love by seeking harmony with the infinite.
And finally, it said, “Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.”
Each stone translated the guidelines into eight modern languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
And inscribed on the sides near the top, the exhibit had the names of four ancient languages — Babylonian cuneiform, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
In the aftermath of the explosion, the Internet teemed with theories about who or what caused Guidestones to be reduced to rubble.
Earlier this year, during Georgia’s gubernatorial primary, Republican candidate Kandiss Taylor brought attention to the Guidestones, claiming the stones were part of a “Luciferian cabal” and promising to destroy the monument if elected.
Taylor weighed in on Twitter following the explosion.
“God is God all by Himself,” Taylor said. “He can do ANYTHING He wants to do. That includes striking down Satanic Guidestones.”
But the monuments never amounted to more than “a tourist attraction,” Christopher Kubas, of the Elberton Granite Association that maintains the Georgia Guidestones, told WSB-TV.
“It’s sad,” Kubas said. “Not just for Elberton and Elbert County, but I’m sad for the United States and the world.”
“These were tourist attractions, and it was not uncommon for people from around the world to be up here at any given time,” he added.
Regardless of its origins and intent, the monument attracted around 20,000 visitors a year.