The destruction of the Georgia guidestones
I am rather sad at the destruction of this eccentric monument to one man's ego. It cost him $100,000 to create it but he evidently thought his ideas were worth drawing to the attention of a lot of people for a long time. He meant it to stand more or less forever -- hence its extremely durable construction. It was intended as an American version of the Egyptian pyramids
The monumnent was harmless. The ideas inscribed on is were between mundane and anodyne but were predominantly of a Green/Left character. But in a world of a lot of uniformity and conformity the structure was a refreshing change: Something genuinely original
The usual suspects are of course assuming that conservatives blew it up but, given the past history of such accusations, the truth is more likely to be the reverse
A mysterious granite monument in rural Georgia has been destroyed after an explosive device reduced it to rubble in the early hours of the morning.
The popular yet peculiar attraction is often called "America's Stonehenge" by locals, but has become the target of far-right conspiracy theorists in recent years — including a candidate who was in the race to become Georgia's governor.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the explosion, which was captured on nearby CCTV cameras.
What are the Guidestones?
The Georgia Guidestones are grey stone slabs that have stood in a field in Elberton in eastern Georgia since 1980.
Standing at 5.8-metres tall, the unusual structure is made up of four large granite tablets arranged around an upright column, complete with a large rectangular capstone lying on top, and would illuminate a date engraved on the granite at noon each day.
No one knows exactly who is behind the Guidestones, but an article in Wired Magazine in 2009 reported the monument was commissioned by a man who used the pseudonym of Robert C. Christian on behalf of "a small group of local Americans" who had been planning the monument for decades.
The slabs themselves were inscribed with a 10-part message in a dozen different languages, including Sanskrit, English, Russian, Hebrew and Spanish.
According to the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce, the message roughly translates to:
"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."
According to surveillance footage, a sharp explosion occurred at the Guidestones shortly after 4am local time on Wednesday, July 6.
The footage shows the bottom half of one of the granite panels shattering, sending debris flying across the field for several metres.
A short time later on a separate security camera, a silver sedan was seen leaving the remote location as the panel collapsed entirely, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake.
Officers from the Elbert County Sheriff's Office attended the site to discover a large portion of the structure had been destroyed.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GIB) said no-one was at the site at the time of the explosion, and that initial investigations indicate that the explosive device was detonated by unknown individuals.
Why was the site targeted?
The Georgia Guidestones have often been the subject of far-right conspiracy theories because of the mystery of how the structure came to be, and how some of the messages have been interpreted.
The site has been vandalised in the past, including with the phrase "new world order" — a longstanding, baseless conspiracy that a totalitarian world government is emerging, which prompted local authorities to install video cameras at the site.
The structure had also attracted more attention in recent months, after becoming the target of Republican candidate for the governor of Georgia, Kandiss Taylor, who had committed to destroying them as part of her conspiracy-laden election campaign.
Ms Taylor, who received just 3.4 per cent of the primary vote in May, said the destruction of the "satanic" Guidestones was proof of God's intervention.
"He can do ANYTHING He wants to do. That includes striking down Satanic Guidestones," she wrote on Twitter.
Ms Taylor later released a video insisting she would never support vandalism, and that "anyone who goes on private or public property to destroy anything illegally should be arrested."
Police have not yet identified any suspects, nor have they commented on whether conspiracy theorists played a role in the monument's destruction.
What will happen to the monument?
Although most of the pillars were unaffected by the explosion, the popular tourist attraction is no more.
Shortly after the explosion, the Elberton Granite Association, which maintains the stones, had estimated the repair bill would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But authorities ultimately deemed the site a safety risk, and knocked down the remaining granite slabs shortly after finalising their investigation at the scene.