Silently surveying the rural lands surrounding them, the giant stones impose themselves upon the grassy landscape. Raised by human hands, but dwarfing any man, they are neatly aligned to various celestial phenomena, such as the rising and setting of the Sun at the Solstices and the hitching post of the heavens, the North Star Polaris. Their designers are unknown; they remain a mystery to us – but the Stones give voice to their inner thoughts. Some see in their construction a guiding wisdom for humanity, whilst others feel threatened by the overt pagan overtones and, paradoxically, stark scientific simplicity, of the megaliths and their message. Far from being the work of an ancient people though, this monument was raised just three decades ago by a group of stonemasons – in the literal sense of the word – from the South of the United States of America. Unlike that other famous megalithic site, Stonehenge, we know exactly how the stones were quarried, how they were finished, and then assembled into one interlocking marvel. And yet, the Georgia Guidestones remain a modern mystery. Their story begins with the arrival of a neatly-dressed gray-haired gentleman at Elberton Granite Finishing Company on a Friday afternoon in June, 1979. He introduced himself as one ‘R.C. Christian’, acting on behalf of “a small group of loyal Americans who believe in God”, and who wanted to “leave a message for future generations.” Joe Fendley, president of the Georgian stone-working company, listened to the man outline the specifications of the monument that he and his small group were seeking. Christian explained that they had chosen Elberton due to its stocks of hard-wearing granite – a key element of the design was that the monument should be able to withstand both the slow erosion of time as well as possible catastrophic events. The monument was to serve as a compass, calendar, and clock, with celestial alignments which would encode the passing of time itself. And it would be engraved with a set of ’10 commandments’, written multiple times in eight of the world’s major languages. Given the dimensions of the desired construction, Fendley made some notes, consulted his calculator, and offered a rough – and sizeable – quote to Mr Christian for the price of construction. The figure didn’t seem to bother the enigmatic man though. He simply asked Fendley for assistance in locating a nearby bank through which to deliver the funding: Some 30-minutes or so after leaving Fendley’s office, Christian appeared at the office of Granite City Bank president Wyatt C. Martin. After introducing himself to Mr Martin in the same manner in which he did to Fendley, he revealed his mission and desire to have a monument erected. Christian told Martin that he represented a group of individuals who had planned this project for more than 20 years, and that each one of the group was a loyal American who believed in God and country. He said the group of sponsors wished to remain anonymous and went on to say that his real name was not Robert C. Christian as he had introduced himself, but this was simply a name chosen because of his Christian faith. This explanation sounds a little suspicious – the name, and the philosophy of the group, suggest the name is more likely inspired by the famous Rosicrucians – the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross. But more on that soon. For now, it’s worth pointing out that Mr. Christian’s explanation for the need for secrecy was that the group did not want to distract people from the monument or its meaning. More precisely… The message, to be inscribed on the stones, is to all mankind and is non-sectarian, nor nationalistic, nor in any sense political. The stones must speak for themselves to all who take note and should appeal to believers and non-believers , wherever. and at all times. Again, it seems a little odd that a man who introduces himself as being a ‘loyal American’, who “believed in God and country”, should then say it is necessary that the monument be non-sectarian and not nationalistic. Perhaps though this presentation as being a loyal, Christian American was meant more to assuage any fears or hesitancy on the part of his new collaborators. He was looking to raise an odd monument – replete with strange ‘commandments’ on how future generations should maintain their society, and with references to that “dirty little Atheist”, Thomas Paine – in the ‘Deep South’, after all. Wyatt Martin wasn’t born yesterday however, and informed Mr. Christian that “a pseudo-name and a promise of money for a project of this magnitude just was not enough.” The mysterious man was thus forced to swear the banker to secrecy, before providing his real name and enough information for the project to progress financially. Martin remains the only man alive – outside of the secret group – who knows the true identity of ‘Robert C. Christian’. Christian returned several days later with a wooden model of the intended structure, and a message from the group: Stonehenge and other vestiges of human thought arouse our curiosity but carry no message for our guidance. To convey our ideas across time to other human beings we want to erect a monument. A cluster of graven stones…which will silently display our ideas when we have gone. We hope they will merit increasing acceptance and that through their silent persistence they will hasten in a small degree the coming Age of Reason. On this visit Christian also raised the matter of where the monument would be located. He said that Georgia had been chosen not just for its granite supplies, but also on account of its mild climate (to insure the permanence of the stoneworking), and distance from major tourist centers. With Wyatt Martin’s assistance, he located a five-acre plot of land some eight miles north of Elberton, on the farm of Mildred and Wayne Mullenix. Standing atop an unwooded ridge in the middle of cow pastures, the site is the highest point in Elbert County and offers excellent visibility in all directions. With its prominent location, the monument itself can be seen from several miles away. In a happy coincidence (or was it?), the site is also less than 10 miles from Ah-Yeh-Li A-Lo-Hee, the Cherokee “Center of the World”. Money for the project arrived from different banks across the country, as did all future correspondence from Christian. According to Wyatt Martin, this was yet another measure to protect R.C. Christian’s real identity, “because he wanted to make sure it couldn’t be traced… He made it clear that he was very serious about secrecy.” After nine months of intense work on the part of Elberton Granite and Finishing, the Georgia Guidestones were unveiled to a crowd of 400 people on March 22, 1980. The main structure of this impressive site is composed of four massive granite monoliths, each weighing around 20 tons, and a 9-ton central pillar, all of which support the square 11-ton ‘capstone’. The completed monument stands some 19 feet (just under 6 meters) high. Perhaps taking a lesson from the discovery of the Rosetta Stone (an inscription in multiple languages which facilitated the decoding of the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs), the four Pyramid-Blue granite side-slabs are etched with 4000 individual characters, which present the ‘guide’ in eight different languages. The central support pillar features a ‘mail-slot’ through which observers can see the alignments to the rising sun on the equinoxes and solstices, while another angled hole drilled right through this center stone allows a person on the southern side of the monument to look through and see the North Star, Polaris, which sits almost directly at the North celestial pole. Meanwhile, a 7/8 inch hole in the capstone allows the light from the Sun to pinpoint the day of the year at noon of every day on the central column. The four side-slabs are oriented to the limits of the migration of the moon during the course of the year. The eight languages which present the guide to future humanity are English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, and Arabic. The ten instructions etched into the stones are: 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 earth – leave room for nature – leave room for nature. In addition, the capstone has the words “Let These Be Guidestones to an Age of Reason” inscribed upon it in four ancient scripts: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Babylonian cuneiform, Classical Greek, and Sanskrit. A Work of Satan But with mystery and secrecy comes fear. Not all in the local area were happy with the project, perhaps confirming why R.C. Christian was so quick to announce his patriotic and religious nature. Local Christians in particular feared that the newly-constructed megaliths would become a ‘sacred site’ to heathens and occultists: The first rumor began among members of the Elberton Granite Association, jealous of the attention being showered on one of their own: Fendley was behind the whole thing, they said, aided by his friend Martin, the banker. The gossip became so poisonous that the two men agreed to take a lie detector test at the Elberton Civic Center. The scandal withered when The Elberton Star reported that they had both passed convincingly, but the publicity brought a new wave of complaints. As word of what was being inscribed spread, Martin recalls, even people he considered friends asked him why he was doing the devil’s work. A local minister, James Travenstead, predicted that “occult groups” would flock to the Guidestones, warning that “someday a sacrifice will take place here.” Some pounced on the date of the unveiling – March 22 – as confirmation that the Guidestones were the work of the devil. Christian pundits were quick to associate the date with various ancient pagan rites, as well as those of Wicca – seemingly oblivious that the date marks the Spring Equinox, one of the key alignments of the monument, and the original reason why these rites occur on that date. But if the seemingly pagan nature of the monument was a concern, the instructions themselves induced near panic in various segments of the local, and national, community. Those who see conspiracy everywhere jumped on the first instruction, which suggests maintaining the world population at 500 million. As one hysterical author wrote, “To bring the population to this level means that nine tenths of the earth’s population must die!” Or in the words of another Christian writer, “that kind of sounds like the mass extermination of the earth’s population during the time of tribulation.” More recently activism against the Georgia Guidestones has become more fervent, with critics banding together to call for their destruction. A 2009 feature on the monument in Wired Magazine pointed out… …Among them is an activist named Mark Dice, author of a book called The Resistance Manifesto. In 2005, Dice (who was using a pseudonym of his own — ”John Conner” — appropriated from the Terminator franchise’s main character) began to demand that the Guidestones be “smashed into a million pieces.” He claims that the monument has “a deep Satanic origin,” a stance that has earned him plenty of coverage, both in print and on the Web. According to Dice, Christian was a high-ranking member of “a Luciferian secret society” at the forefront of the New World Order. “The elite are planning to develop successful life-extension technology in the next few decades that will nearly stop the aging process,” Dice says, “and they fear that with the current population of Earth so high, the masses will be using resources that the elite want for themselves. The Guidestones are the New World Order’s Ten Commandments. They’re also a way for the elite to get a laugh at the expense of the uninformed masses, as their agenda stands as clear as day and the zombies don’t even notice it.” In the past year vandals have spray-painted messages across the inscriptions, and splashed the slabs with polyurethane, which makes cleaning the graffiti a difficult proposition. Messages on Internet forums suggest a petition to have them destroyed, and even debate whether it would be illegal to take it upon themselves to do the destroying. Like Dice, they see the Guidestones as the calling card of the Illuminati, the New World Order, and/or various other groups intent on controlling the world’s population. Though why some shadowy group intent on killing off 90% of the world’s population would announce their plans on a monument in rural Georgia is beyond me… The R.C. Brothers At least the conspiracy theorists might have one thing right. The messages from R.C. Christian and his secret group certainly evoke the philosophy behind a number of secret societies of the 17th and 18th centuries, including the earliest incarnations of Freemasonry and the Illuminati. Arising out of the ‘Rosicrucian’ tradition, these secret societies had at their heart an embracing of the use of reason to guide humanity forward, with an ultimate goal of a ‘brotherhood of man’, a Pan-Sophist Utopia in which people around the world united in a peaceful quest for knowledge. The public announcement of this goal came in the Rosicrucian manifestos, which circulated in the early 17th century and inspired many leading thinkers to join this ‘quest’. Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis followed in 1627, with its tale of a group known as ‘Salomon’s House’, an order of priest-scientists who pursued research into all the arts and sciences in order to benefit humanity. With officials wearing turbans decorated with “a red cross on the top”, it is easy to see Bacon’s affiliation – no matter whether official or self-announced. In the words of the great Renaissance scholar, Dame Frances Yates: The religion of New Atlantis has much in common with that of the Rosicrucian manifestos. It is intensely Christian in spirit, though not doctrinal, interpreting the Christian spirit in terms of practical benevolence, like the R.C. Brothers… The inhabitants of New Atlantis would appear to have achieved the great instauration of learning and have therefore returned to the state of Adam in Paradise before the Fall – the objective of advancement both for Bacon and for the authors of the Rosicrucian manifestos. Given the secrecy of R.C. Christian and his group, and the fear and loathing it has engendered in certain quarters, it is perhaps worth noting that Yates points out the effect of the ‘invisibility’ of the Brothers in Bacon’s Rosicrucian parable. “[T]he travellers wonder whether they are not in the presence of divine powers and beings, whether the invisibility of the Brothers (whom we now know to have been R.C. Brothers) may not have in it something supernatural,” says Yates. “[T]he New Atlantis is poised on a knife edge, depending for its favourable reception by the reader on whether that reader accepts the scientific influences in it as ‘almost magical’, or as diabolically inspired.” Following this Rosy thread, we next spy the beginnings of the ‘Invisible College’, later to become that great bastion of scientific thinking and rationalism, the Royal Society. The Scottish chemist Robert Boyle mentions this group in a letter dated February 1647, describing its members as “men of so capacious and searching spirits… [who] endeavour to put narrow-mindedness out of countenance, by the practice of so extensive a charity that it reaches unto everything called man, and nothing less than an universal good-will can content it… [taking] the whole body of mankind to their care.” Later members of the Invisible College/Royal Society would include some of the greatest scientific minds of the last four centuries. Esoteric scholar Manly P. Hall claims that the Rosicrucian tradition was simply the latest incarnation of a movement that was over three millennia old. “For more than three thousand years,” announces Hall, “secret societies have labored to create the background of knowledge necessary to the establishment of an enlightened democracy among the nations of the world.” Hall says the global, collective name of these secret societies is “The Order of the Quest”. In any case, when Freemasonry emerged into the public consciousness in the 18th century, bringing with it a large dose of the Rosicrucian ethos, we finally see the full flowering (pardon the pun) of the seeds planted by the Rosicrucian manifestos. Numerous founders of the United States of America would be initiated into Freemasonry, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Paul Revere. Others, if not actually Masons, were certainly aligned in their thinking, such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. And with Paine we come full circle, remembering that the message of the Georgia Guidestones is to lead future humanity toward a ‘New Age of Reason’. A Record in Stone It is in the myths of the Freemasons that we find a curious ancient echo of the Georgia Guidestones. Or perhaps, more correctly, the blueprint – for in some of the Masonic legends we find the construction of stone monuments in order to transmit knowledge to a post-apocalyptic world. For example, in one tale the Biblical prophet Enoch is moved to create a lasting monument, inscribed with hieroglyphs, to ensure that certain secret knowledge is not lost: The degeneracy of mankind became so great , and their perversions of pure antediluvian Masonry so grievous, that, according to our traditions, Enoch feared the genuine secrets would be lost, and swallowed up in the predicted Deluge. To prevent which he hid the Grand Secret, engraven on a white oriental porphyry stone, in the bowels of the Earth; and being apprehensive that the morality and science which had been embodied in Freemasonry with such care would be absorbed in the general destruction; to preserve the principles of the science, he built two pillars near the spot where they were concealed, with an inscription in hieroglyphs, importing that near it was a precious treasure which had been dedicated to God. Arturo de Hoyos, Grand Archivist for the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, suggests another possible source for the myths of the Royal Arch degree: The writings of Flavius Josephus may also have contributed to the Masonic tradition. In his Antiquities of the Jews (Book I, Chap. II, vs. 3), he mentions that Seth, the son of Adam “made two pillars; the one of brick, the other of stone: they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also to inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them.” Graham Hancock discusses Josephus’ recounting of this myth in his seminal book Fingerprints of the Gods, adding details which further correspond with the Georgia Guidestones. Given the plethora of astronomical alignments incorporated into the Guidestones, it’s worth noting that these antediluvian people were said by Josephus to be “the inventors of that particular sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order.” Hancock goes on to point out that similar myths of knowledge transmission through world-ending events can be found around the world. In the Indian Puranas, the fish god Vishnu warns his human protégé shortly before the Great Flood that “he should conceal the Sacred Scriptures in a safe place” to protect it from the impending disaster. In Mesopotamia’s version of the Deluge, the god Ea tells Utnapishtim “to take the beginning, the middle and the end of whatever was consigned to writing and then bury it in the City of the Sun at Sippara,” in order that the survivors of the Great Flood could return and search for the writings. Perhaps most notable is the account of Oxford astronomer John Greaves, who collected local Egyptian myths when visiting the land of the pyramids in the 17th century. According to some local traditions, the three Giza pyramids were said to have been constructed by an antediluvian king, who dreamt that “the whole earth was turned over, with the inhabitants lying upon their faces and the stars falling down and striking one another with a terrible noise”: And he awakened with great feare, and assembled the chief priests of all the provinces of Egypt…He related the whole matter to them and they took the altitude of the stars, and made their prognostication, and they foretold of a deluge. The king said, will it come to our country? They answered yes, and will destroy it. And there remained a certain number of years to come, and he commanded in the mean space to build the Pyramids…And he engraved in those Pyramids all things that were told by wise men, as also all profound sciences – the science of Astrology, and of Arithmeticke, and of Geometry, and of Physicke. All this may be interpreted by him that knows their characters and language. While investigation of the Giza pyramids has turned up very little ‘engraving’ – in fact, engraving of any sort is conspicuous by its absence on these imposing structures – certain knowledge is certainly ‘encoded’ and ready to be interpreted. The main passage descending into the Great Pyramid on its northern face is aimed directly into the firmament at the ‘imperishable’ polar stars, just as the Georgia Guidestones are now locked onto Polaris through the hole in its central pillar. And, through design or coincidence, the monument also encodes the values of pi and phi, in the slope of the pyramids sides and the dimensions of the ‘King’s Chamber’ respectively. Certainly, we can at least give Greaves the ‘astrology’ and ‘geometry’ parts of his statement. Maintain Humanity… These myths about the purpose of stone monuments show that, far from being a New World Order directive to kill off 90% of the population of the planet, the Georgia Guidestones are actually meant as an instruction manual for the small band of survivors of some future cataclysm. What form the designers of the monument thought that cataclysm would take is unknown, though given the era it was built in one can assume that fears of a global nuclear war would have been a contributing factor (and perhaps offers an answer as to why it was built away from large population centers). We do know for a fact though that population increase and irrational leadership were at the forefront of the group’s concerns, which might likely lead to some sort of Third World War. According to a statement by the monument’s designers… …The group consciousness of our race is blind, perverse, and easily distracted by trivia while it should be focused on fundamentals. We are entering a critical era. Population pressures will soon create political and economic crisis throughout the world. These will make more difficult and at the same time more needed the building of a rational world society. …The approaching crisis may make mankind willing to accept a system of world law which will stress the responsibility of individual nations in regulating internal affairs, and which will assist them in the peaceful management of international frictions. With such a system we could eliminate war. We could provide every person an opportunity to seek a life of purpose and fulfillment. There are alternatives to Armageddon. They are attainable. But they will not happen without coordinated efforts by millions of dedicated people in all nations of the world. In truth, the controversial aspect of the inscription on the Georgia Guidestones is not the figure of 500 million, as the more zany conspiracy theorists would have it. As we’ve seen, there is little doubt that this is meant as a guide to a small group of survivors of some future disaster. The more provocative part of the inscription is the word “maintaining” – and the group are quite clear in their intended meaning on this point: In 1980, as these stones were being raised, the most pressing world problem was the need to control human numbers…controlling our reproduction is urgently needed. It will require major changes in our attitudes and customs. …In these circumstances, reproduction is no longer exclusively a personal matter. Society must have a voice and some power of direction in regulating this vital function. The wishes of human couples are important, but not paramount. The interests of present society and the welfare of future generations must be given increasing consideration as we develop mechanisms to bring rational control to our childbearing. No person should be brought into the world unwanted and unneeded. No child should be conceived through carelessness. If each life is to have value, every conception must be part of an ordered plan of two parents who are aware of their responsibilities to that child and to society. …Knowledge and techniques for regulating human reproduction are now in existence. Between those words, and the eugenic-sounding instruction to improve “fitness and diversity” in reproduction, the message of the Guidestones starts sounding, rather unfortunately, like a Chinese remake of Gattaca. To be sure, the end goal is ultimately sane, and some of the sentiments – such as having no unwanted children – are laudable, but would it justify the means? I have a sneaking suspicion that very few Western individuals would allow the government to dictate their right to have children. At least, very few pre-apocalyptic individuals… But the message from the group acknowledges exactly that, impressing that population control would “require major changes in our attitudes and customs”. It is just that they, in 1980, saw an impending population emergency. And it has to be said that time – even worse, a very short amount of time – has proven their concerns to be justified. When the Georgia Guidestones were planned and built, just three decades ago, the world population was estimated at 3.5 billion people. As of August 2009, that number has almost doubled to 6.8 billion. That sort of increase is the very definition of unsustainable. So the question should perhaps simply be framed as – are we more likely to change our customs, or rush headlong into apocalypse? Perhaps the fact that the group actually decided to build the Georgia Guidestones as a lasting guide gives us an answer… Message in a Granite Bottle It’s amusing (if you’re open to black humor) to note that Graham Hancock, in the conclusion to his bestselling book Fingerprints of the Gods, asks what we might do if faced with impending doom. “Of course there would at first be much panic and despair,” writes Hancock. “Nevertheless – if there were sufficient advance warning – steps would be taken to ensure that there would be some survivors and that some of what was most valuable in our high scientific knowledge would be preserved for the benefit of future generations.” He suggests that the survivors might be “blasted back into the Stone Age”, so a priority would be finding a way to communicate with them and make sure they got the message “no matter what language they spoke”. Amusing, because the creators of the Georgia Guidestones have done exactly that. In the same vein as the myths concerning a lost antediluvian civilization, they have inscribed messages upon granite stones, in order to pass on the ‘wisdom’ of our own time to future survivors of some cataclysm that is yet to occur. Whether you agree with the inscribed wisdom may be another thing, but it is hard to not be impressed with the forward-thinking behind this massive message in a bottle. Not least when we look at how most of our knowledge is currently encoded – as bits of information, stored on magnetic disks, requiring electricity to access it. However, in terms of forward thinking to preserve knowledge for future generations, the Georgia Guidestones do not stand alone. For instance, the Rosetta Project is a modern attempt to archive all of the world’s documented languages. As one aspect of their commitment to preserving this knowledge, members of the Rosetta Project have created the ‘Rosetta Disk’. Made of nickel, and just 2.8 inches in diameter, the disk is meant to be a “durable archive of human languages”. The Disk surface…is etched with a central image of the earth and a message written in eight major world languages: “Languages of the World: This is an archive of over 1,500 human languages assembled in the year 02008 C.E. Magnify 1,000 times to find over 13,000 pages of language documentation.” The text begins at eye-readable scale and spirals down to nano-scale. This tapered ring of languages is intended to maximize the number of people that will be able to read something immediately upon picking up the Disk, as well as implying the directions for using it—‘get a magnifier and there is more.’ On the reverse side of the disk from the globe graphic are over 13,000 microetched pages of language documentation. Since each page is a physical rather than digital image, there is no platform or format dependency. Reading the Disk requires only optical magnification. The disk is “immune to water damage, able to withstand high temperatures, and unaffected by electromagnetic radiation.” And the disk is housed, and protected, within a four inch spherical which is split into two hemispheres. The bottom is made of high-grade stainless steel, while the top is made of optical glass and doubles as a magnifier. Another project to preserve knowledge is the Church of Scientology’s ‘Trementina Base’ in New Mexico. According to the Church, the purpose of the base is as an archive to preserve the writings and recordings of the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. The texts are said to have been engraved on stainless steel tablets and encased in titanium capsules, which reside in an underground bunker on the site. I shall leave it to the reader to decide whether this is knowledge we want to transmit to our post- apocalyptic descendants… What captivates us about the Georgia Guidestones is as much their mystery, as it is the structure itself. R.C. Christian walked into history in 1980, left his mark upon the landscape of Georgia, and then walked right back out of time. In doing so, he also left his mark upon the minds of anybody who has come across the enigmatic Georgia Guidestones. Are they the work of ‘The Order of the Quest’, a secret society as old as civilization and entrusted with the preservation of human wisdom? Or are they the work of a group of Nazi-inspired Illuminati wannabes, with no greater claim to knowledge than any of the rest of us? Whatever our opinion in the here-and-now, we can be sure that a future generation, rebuilding after a global cataclysm, would likely revere the message of the Guidestones – just as we have an innate feeling of respect and awe for the megaliths left behind from our predecessors, such as at Giza, Stonehenge, and Göbekli Tepe. Lastly, in case the appearance of R.C. Christian seems more akin to a Comte de St Germain or Men in Black intervention to you, rather than a mundane project by some bored businessman, there is one story from the construction of the Georgia Guidestones which bears retelling. Sandblaster Charlie Clamp, who etched the 4,000 individual letters onto the massive granite slabs, recounted that while carving the guides he heard “strange music and disjointed voices.” Readers of my article in Darklore Volume 1, “Her Sweet Murmur”, would certainly be intrigued by that anecdote, with its suggestion of paranormal interactions. With the Georgia Guidestones, the mystery goes on. And may continue on for millennia, beyond the apocalypse. —————This article is from Darklore Volume 4, which is available for purchase from Amazon US or Amazon UK.