The Georgia Guidestones are an enigmatic and mysterious monument that has attracted a fair bit of attention across the country. Affectionately labelled America’s Stonehenge, the history behind the monument is shrouded in secrecy and the only man alive who knows the identity of the financier has sworn to never tell.
The large granite structure stands just shy of 20 feet tall and weighs a whopping 237,746 pounds all together. Erected in 1980 in Elbert County, Georgia, it stands atop the highest point in the county. The design itself is intriguing, consisting of four granite slabs arranged around a central plinth with a fifth smaller slab balanced on top. Not far away from the monument itself is a small plinth detailing what little information we actually have on the origins and purpose of this curious attraction.
The Guidestones are a feat of design in and of themselves. They have been constructed with astronomical detail to act as a calendar, clock, and compass. Sitting as high as they do, they have been orientated to track the sun’s east-west migration all year round. During the equinox and solstice, visitors positioned on the west side can peer through the slot on the middle plinth to see the sunrise on the horizon. An eye-level hole drilled through the center plinth allows nighttime visitors to identify Polaris, also known as the North Star. Finally, an 8-inch hole drilled into the capstone allows a sunbeam, at noon, to pierce through and pinpoint the day of the year.
Upon the four giant granite slabs that surround the central plinth is inscribed a series of instructions on how to rebuild society after an apocalyptic event. There are ten instructions given in eight different languages on each side of the four slabs. Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, they are written in English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. The ten instructions read:
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.
What little we know of the story of this granite work of wonder begins in the business premises of Elberton Granite Finishing. Elberton County was famous for its high-quality granite and it’s said that this is what attracted the “elegant, grey-haired gentleman” who called himself Robert C Christian. We know this was a pseudonym as the gentleman in question admitted as much himself. He had come to town on behalf of “a small group of loyal Americans” to commission Joe Fendley, the then president of Elberton Granite Finishing, to build the Georgia Guidestones. At first, Fendley did not believe what he was hearing and deliberately quoted a figure far higher than what it would actually have cost, to try and scare this “madman” out of his office. The project was one far bigger than anything he had ever worked on before and he scarcely believed anyone would have the funding or the purpose. However, when the stranger enquired after a reliable banker in order to make arrangements, Fendley directed him to Wyatt Martin, president of the Granite City Bank. After the financial obligations had been made and Martin signed a document swearing to keep Robert C Christian’s real identity a secret, the money was transferred, the location scouted, and construction began. The Guidestones remain a true work of art and have no equal, while the artisanship that went into both the design and the fabrication are unmatched, making them a marvel to behold.
To this day, Wyatt Martin is the only person on Earth who knows the identity of those who commissioned the stones, a secret he plans to take to his grave, saying that Christian once quoted Henry James’ observations on Stonehenge to him; “You may put a hundred questions to these rough-hewn giants as they bend in grim contemplation of their fallen companions, but your curiosity falls dead in the vast sunny stillness that enshrouds them.” Their mystery is a large part of their charm and appeal and shattering that shroud would essentially be like cracking the stones themselves.
Conspiracy and Controversy
The stones over the years have attracted both critical and controversial acclaim. Not long after their construction, they did attract the attention of a local coven of witches, who would travel to the stones at the weekend to enact pagan rituals and dances. This did nothing to diminish the deep-seated fears that these commandments elicited in the Christian world. The Guidestones were believed by many to have satanic origins, especially by those who take the Bible at its word. They are particularly concerned by the instructions that instruct survivors to unite the world with one common language and essentially bring the globe together under a one-world government, an act which they believe to be the work of Satan himself.
In more recent history, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice has spoken out against the stones, again claiming them to be of satanic origin and a monument constructed by the New World Order, flagrantly mocking the citizenry of the world they intend to conquer and subdue.
In all likelihood, due to the stones’ time of construction, they were built by an eccentric and well-funded individual or group of people who feared the ramifications of the encroaching Cold War. Staring the ever-looming threat of nuclear war in the eye, they wanted to leave behind something that could survive the impending horror and possibly guide survivors down a safer, kinder path.
Whatever their meaning and purpose, the fact remains that they are a stunning and beautiful testament to what mankind can achieve and a landmark well-worth a visit by any tourist or traveler in the area.