Guidestones To an Age of Reason
© 2000, Brian Collier
More photos are located here.
Amidst the rolling pasture land and lines of pine in the northeast corner
of Georgia stands an enigma--a 19 foot tall megalithic structure overlooking
the quiet countryside like a gray sentinel. Only a handful of people know
who designed this massive structure, and they aren't talking. Like other
large stone monuments such as England's Stonehenge, controversy surrounds
the Georgia Guidestones--are they a celestial temple, a sacrificial altar,
or simply a monument to conservation? However, unlike the silence cloaking
its prehistoric counterparts, the towering granite of the Georgia Guidestones
speaks its own story, for carved into the faces of the stones are ten simple
guides urging the preservation of the planet on which we live.
The mystery of the Georgia Guidestones began late on a Friday afternoon
in June of 1979, when a well-dressed stranger, identifying himself only
as Mr. Christian, walked into the Elberton Granite Finishing Company's
offices on Tate Street, and inquired of the firm's President Joe H. Fendley,
Sr. as to the cost of building a large monument to conservation. Fendley
explained to the man that the company normally worked on a wholesale basis,
and did not deal directly with individuals, but the stranger persisted.
He told Fendley that he represented a small group of Americans who wished
to remain anonymous. He outlined a plan for a monument in granite, which
intrigued Fendley enough that he put Mr. Christian in touch with both of
the local banks.
According to Wyatt C. Martin, President of the Granite City Bank, the
stranger showed up at his office 30 minutes later introducing himself as
R.C. Christian. The man repeated his proposal, and suggested that Martin
be the intermediary for the project. Being a bank president, Mr. Martin
insisted that Mr. Christian reveal his real identity so that Martin could
verify his ability to finance the project. When Martin was satisfied that
everything was on the level, he agreed to carry it out, and pledged never
to reveal Mr. R.C. Christian's true identity.
Mr. Christian told Martin that he and his sponsors selected Georgia
as the location for the monument because of the availability of high quality
granite, the mild climate, and the fact that his great-grandmother was
a native Georgian. He also emphasized that the monument should be erected
in a remote area, away from the main tourist centers. Martin suggested
that, to work within the funds available, a local site should be selected
because of the cost of transporting the massive stones Christian had in
mind. The men spent a day inspecting various sites, and finally selected
a five acre plot on the farm of Mildred and Wayne Mullenix. The plot also
happens to be the highest point in Elbert county.
A few weeks later, Joe Fendley began work on the monument. The stones
were quarried from the company's Pyramid Blue Granite, and Fendley claimed
that the sheer size of the stones, as well as the exacting specifications
set forth by the sponsors made the project one of the most challenging
ever for his company. He suggested that "those specifications were so precise
that they had to be compiled by experts on stone as well as construction."
In 1980 the stones were erected. Once the project was completed, Wyatt
Martin delivered his file on the affair to the anonymous sponsors and that
the secret of their identity was sealed.
In accordance with Mr. Christian's wishes, the Guidestones are located
in one of the least touristy parts of the state. Elberton's one claim to
fame is the title "Granite Capitol of the World," and aside from the rather
tranquil scenery, there isn't much to be found in the area. However, because
of their proximity to a state highway, the Guidestones are easy to access--about
a hundred yards to the east of Georgia Highway 77, 7.2 miles North of Elberton,
and 7.8 miles South of Hartwell. The only sign for the stones is a rather
small, green affair just at the turn in, but if you keep your eyes open
on the east side of the road, you can't miss them.
While the ground under the Guidestones may be the highest spot in the
county, it's in no danger of being mistaken for a mountain. It's actually
a gentle rise in the general landscape with a view of a close horizon all
the way around. The Guidestones are situated in a fenced off section of
a pasture, so along with a view of sloping green fields walled in by stands
of pine and oak, you may be treated to a close encounter with a few cattle.
Don't worry though, they're on the other side of the barbed wire, and are
more interested in chewing their cud than bothering visitors.
Next to the Guidestones lies a flat granite slab inscribed with the
technical data on the stones--height, weight, and different languages carved
into them. It also bears an inscription indicating that a time capsule
was to be buried under the spot, but includes no dates, so it's a safe
guess that a capsule was never placed there.
Visitors have made comparisons between the Guidestones and other megalithic
structures. Some have gone so far as to call them America's Stonehenge.
In reality, this title belongs more appropriately to Sam Hill's exact replica
of Stonehenge in Washington. While the Guidestones do convey a sense of
stately endurance similar to Stonehenge, they have none of the ancient
aura possessed by Britain's megalith. Rather, the Guidestones express youth
and openness--something still growing, rather than something in decay.
Indeed, R.C. Christian said that after completion, he hoped other conservation-minded
groups would erect even more stones in an outer ring and carry the monument's
message in more languages.
The slender center stone, which the builders call the Gnomen, towers
between four wider uprights topped with a capstone that just touches the
corners of the four outer stones. These outer slabs are the ones actually
carved with the guides, and point out from the Gnomen like spokes in an
X shape. The individual letters of the guides are four inches tall, and
about a half inch deep, and thus easy to read all the way to the top. The
ten guides are translated into eight different languages--English, Spanish,
Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Swahili, and Hindi--one language on each
side of the outer stones.
R.C. Christian said that he and the sponsors spent years planning the
monument, and the ten guides for the conservation of humankind and the
earth were a carefully worded, moralistic appeal to all people, regardless
of national, religious, or political borders. The English version of the
- 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
- 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.
On the 4 sides of the capstone an additional message is written
in four dead languages-- Classical Greek, Sanskrit, Babylonian Cuneiform,
and Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
- Let these be guidestones to an age of reason.
Aside from their obvious role as bearers of a written message, the
stones also mark certain celestial alignments. The four outer uprights
point to the limits of the moon's declination over the course of a year.
An oblique hole drilled from the south to the north side of the Gnomen
aligns with the North Star. A small window is cut in the middle of the
Gnomen, and aligns with the positions of the rising sun at the Summer and
Winter Solstices. Sunlight beams through a 7/8 inch hole in the capstone
at noon, and shines on the south face of the Gnomen. At noon of each day,
the spot of light can be used to determine the day of the year.
Controversies have blazed around the stones since their erection in
1980. The pastor of a local church warned that the stones would lead to
blood sacrifices on the spot where they stood. Some people view the guides
as a mandate for mass extermination of a majority of the world's population,
and the establishment of an Orwellian control of the planet by one governing
body. Others view the Guidestones as evidence of some occult force bent
on destroying the Judeo-Christian beliefs held by many Americans. In truth,
Pagan groups have held ceremonies at the Guidestones--weddings and celebrations
of the solstices and equinoxes--but nothing involving blood sacrifice,
and so far, no single government has taken control of the planet.
Regardless, the stones still maintain their quiet vigil, ambivalent
to the religious and political beliefs of the people who come to see them.
Likely, they will continue to stand long after the quarrels we find so
important today are mere footnotes in the history text of some student
in the distant future.
Statistical Information on the Georgia Guidestones
Overall Height: 19 feet 3 inches
Amount of Granite: 951 cubic feet
Weight: 237,746 pounds
Four Upright Stones:
6ft 6in wide; 16ft 4in high; 1ft 7in thick 42,437 lbs each on average
3 ft 3in.wide; 16ft 4in high; 1ft 7in thick, Weight 20,957 lbs
Cap Stone: 6ft 6in wide, 9ft 8in long; 1ft 7in thick, Weight 24, 832
Outer Support Stones (bases): 7ft 4in long; 2ft 0in wide; 1ft 4in thick
Weight 4,875 lbs each on average.
Center Support Stone: 4ft 21/2in long; 2ft 2in wide; 1ft;7in thick
Weight 2,707 lbs
Other Web Sites Discussing the Georgia Guidestones
LUCKY MOJO ESOTERIC ARCHIVE entry on the Georgia Guidestones
Ellie Crystal's entry on the Georgia
Radio Liberty takes a darker
view of the purpose of the Guidestones