ATLANTA (AP) — A rural Georgia landmark that some conservative Christians criticized as satanic and others dubbed “America’s Stonehenge” was demolished Wednesday after predawn bombardment turned certainly one of its 4 granite panels to rubble.
The Georgia Guidestones monument close to Elberton was broken by an explosive machine, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation mentioned, and later torn down “for safety causes.” leaving a pile of debris in an image researchers released.
After the sooner vandalism, video cameras linked to the county’s emergency dispatch heart had been put in on the web site, Elbert Granite Affiliation Government Vice President Chris Kubas mentioned.
The enigmatic roadside attraction was in-built 1980 from native granite, commissioned by an unknown particular person or group underneath the pseudonym RC Christian.
“That has given the information stones a type of shroud of thriller round them, as a result of the identification and intent of the individuals who commissioned them is unknown,” mentioned Katie McCarthy, who researches conspiracy theories for the Anti-Defamation League. . “And that has helped gasoline loads of hypothesis and conspiracy theories over time in regards to the true intent of the information stones.”
The 16-foot-tall (5-meter-high) panels had a 10-part message in eight totally different languages with steering for residing in an “age of purpose.” One half referred to as for holding the world inhabitants at 500 million or much less, whereas one other referred to as for “guiding replica properly, bettering health and variety.”
It additionally served as a sundial and astronomical calendar. However it was the point out of the panels on eugenics, inhabitants management, and world authorities that made them a goal of far-right conspirators.
The monument’s notoriety took off with the rise of the Web, Kubas mentioned, till it turned a roadside vacationer attraction, drawing hundreds of holiday makers every year.
The location obtained renewed consideration throughout the Georgia gubernatorial major on Might 24, when third-place Republican candidate Kandiss Taylor claimed the guidestones are satanic and made demolishing them a part of her platform. Comic John Oliver featured the guiding stones and Taylor in a phase in late Might. McCarthy mentioned that right-wing personalities, together with Alex Jones, had talked about them in earlier years, however that “they had been again on the general public’s radar” due to Taylor.
“God is God by himself. He can do ANYTHING he needs to do,” Taylor wrote on social media Wednesday. “That features taking down satanic information stones.”
The monument had been vandalized earlier than, together with when it was spray painted in 2008 and 2014, McCarthy mentioned. She mentioned the bombing is one other instance of how conspiracy theories “have and may have an effect in the actual world.”
“We have seen this with QAnon and plenty of different conspiracy theories, that these concepts can lead somebody to attempt to take motion to advertise these beliefs,” McCarthy mentioned. “They could attempt to assault the folks and establishments which can be on the core of those false beliefs.”
Kubas and plenty of different folks interpreted the stones as a type of information to rebuild society after an apocalypse.
“It relies upon by yourself interpretation as to the way you wish to see them,” Kubas mentioned.
The location is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Elberton and about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Atlanta, close to the South Carolina state line. Granite quarrying is without doubt one of the primary native industries, using about 2,000 folks within the space, Kubas mentioned.
Deputies from the Elbert County Sheriff, Elberton Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are among the many companies attempting to determine what occurred. Bomb squad technicians had been referred to as in to seek for proof, and a state freeway that runs close to the location was closed for some time.
No suspects had been recognized.
Kubas mentioned native officers and group leaders should resolve who, if anybody, pays for the restoration.
“For those who did not prefer it, you did not have to return see it and skim it,” Kubas mentioned. “However sadly, somebody determined they did not need anybody to learn it.”
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