In June of 1979, a mysterious individual using the pseudonym R.C. Christian approached the Elberton Granite Finishing Company with an unusual and secretive request: to construct a monument. Under the strict terms of a legal contract, Christian insisted on maintaining his anonymity, along with the identity of the group he purportedly represented. He displayed a seemingly endless source of funding for this enigmatic project, with all design plans destined for destruction upon completion and all information about his person to be concealed from public knowledge.
By 1980, the monument was complete, comprising stones carrying a prominent tablet that declared, “Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason.” These stones bore ten commandments intended to guide humanity and rebuild society, possibly following a catastrophic event. The guidelines were etched in eight different languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. They offered directives such as maintaining the world’s population at or under 500,000,000, emphasizing reason over faith and tradition, balancing individual rights with social responsibilities, and leaving room for nature rather than being a detriment to the Earth.
The Guidestones served a secondary function as an astronomical calendar, using a precise hole in the structure to illuminate the date on an engraving every day at noon. Four ancient languages—Babylonian cuneiform, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphics—were inscribed near the top of the stones. The site also featured an instructional tablet describing the presence of a buried time capsule, though the dates of its burial and intended opening are unknown, raising questions about its existence or purpose.
Over the years, the Guidestones have sparked controversy. They have been linked to various conspiracy theories and viewed with suspicion by some who consider them the work of secret societies or the New World Order, especially due to certain commandments that could be interpreted ominously. Consequently, the Guidestones have been vandalized by conspiracy theorists. For instance, in 2022, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor, pledged to demolish the monument as part of her campaign. Nevertheless, others perceive them as a message of wisdom or prophecy, possibly the creation of an eccentric scientist.
Despite the passage of three decades, the true origins of the Guidestones remain concealed. The only attribution is found on the monument itself, reading, “Sponsors: A Small Group of Americans Who Seek The Age Of Reason.” Unfortunately, on July 6, 2022, the Guidestones were severely damaged by a vandal’s apparent explosive device. Subsequently, the remaining, undamaged pieces were dismantled by state law enforcement officials later that same day, further shrouding the monument’s origins in mystery.