There are a lot of things in the United States that are referred to as “America’s Stonehenge.” In fact, we’ve already taken a look at one of them: Mystery Hill in New Hampshire. For most of these things, the designation as something even in the ballpark of Stonehenge makes me roll my eyes. Stonehenge is magnificent. Huge, mysterious, teeming with energy. Just because something is made of stone and we don’t know why it’s there doesn’t mean it’s on par with Stonehenge!
And this line of thinking absolutely holds true for today’s topic: the Georgia Guidestones. They’re weird and mysterious and made out of stone. But the Guidestones are much smaller than Stonehenge. And much, much more overtly ominous.
What It Is
The Georgia Guidestones are a set of five granite slabs set under a capstone. The monument stands over nineteen feet tall. The stones were placed in 1980 in Elbert County, Georgia, though their true purpose and meaning remain elusive. The stones were commissioned by a man claiming to act “on behalf of a small group of loyal Americans.” This individual claimed that the stones would serve a variety of purposes – calendar, compass, clock, and would need to survive catastrophe. The implication here is that the guidestones were meant to survive the apocalypse and guide those left behind in rebuilding civilization. The stones are inscribed with a variety of different languages – Arabic, Babylonian Cuneiform, Chinese, Classical Greek, English, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, and Swahili. There are ten guidelines (also sometimes referred to as commandments, for obvious reasons) and a shorter message inscribed on the capstone.
The guidelines are listed as follows:
- Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
- Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
- Unite humanity with a living new language.
- Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
- Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
- Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
- Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
- Balance personal rights with social duties.
- Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
- Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
Interestingly, the granite slabs are astronomically aligned and are organized to represent various astronomical workings. The four slabs on the outer corners of the guidestones are set to mark the lunar delineation cycle. The center slab contains a hole through which the north star can be seen. The center slab also has a slot that aligns with the solstices and equinoxes. The capstone has a slot that enables it to act as a sundial – when the sun shines through the slot, it shows what day of the year it currently is.
There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to the guidestones. The first is that it was created by some sort of secret society. Some people seem to think the guidestones are Satanic and I can see this in two ways. First, I can absolutely see the Satanic Panic Outcry of “they’re waiting for the antichrist to come kill us all so we can rebuild!!!!!!” narrative from off-the-rails conspiracy theorists. However, actual Satanism does emphasize balance and connection to nature, which are heavily noted in the stones’ inscriptions. The second secret society I kept coming across in my research is the Rosicrucians. The Rosicrucians, according to Rosicrucian.org (no kidding, it’s a thing) are “a community of mystics who study and practice the metaphysical laws governing the universe.” Which is…wow. Vague and fantastical. But, I mean, good for them? Anyway, the theory with the Rosicrucians is that they erected the monument to rebuild society in their image after the inevitable apocalypse.
The second string of theories stem from the idea that this is some sort of installation piece. The bottom line of all of the theories beneath this umbrella is that the piece is there to make you think. I could see this being some sort of environmentalist or philosophical installation aimed at making your question your judgement and morals. Make you question what the future holds, especially. The commandments note to keep the world population under 500 million. The world population has been in the billions since the 1800s. What could possibly happen to cull the population so drastically? Whatever the motivation behind the piece…if its aim was to make us think, it has definitely succeeded there.
I really don’t know where I land on this one. I don’t know who the group that commissioned the piece could possibly be. I don’t know if they believe the apocalypse is truly coming (a la the Rapture or something akin to that) or maybe they just think the human race is bound to destroy itself someday. There are some things I feel to be true about the intentions of the Guidestones, however. I do not think there is any malintent behind them. It seems to me that the stones are meant to weather whatever storms Earth will face in the future, and provide tips for rebuilding society. And, if I’m being honest, the points made in the guidelines all make sense to me. As for the languages, I think the Guidestones could serve as a sort of Rosetta Stone if other methods of translation were lost in the future. It makes total sense to me. But the one question that remains with me is…does this group of “loyal Americans” know something the rest of us don’t?