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A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR


Law enforcement officials walk around the damaged Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

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A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR

Law enforcement officials walk around the damaged Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

Rose Scoggins/The Elberton Star/AP

A rural Georgia monument that some conservative Christians have called satanic and others dubbed “America’s Stonehenge” was demolished on Wednesday after a bomb attack turned one of its four granite panels into rubble.

The Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton was damaged by an explosive device, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said, then toppled “for safety reasons”, leaving a pile of rubble in a photo released by investigators.

Surveillance footage showed a loud explosion blowing a panel into rubble just after 4 a.m. Investigators also released video of a silver sedan leaving the monument.

After previous acts of vandalism, video cameras connected to the county’s emergency dispatch center were stationed at the site, said Chris Kubas, executive vice president of the Elbert Granite Association.

A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR

This aerial image from video shows damage to the Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

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A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR

This aerial image from video shows damage to the Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

WSB-TV/AP

The enigmatic roadside attraction was built in 1980 from local granite, commissioned by an unknown person or group under the pseudonym of RC Christian.

“It gives the guides a kind of shroud of mystery around them, because the identity and intent of the people who ordered them are unknown,” said Katie McCarthy, who studies conspiracy theories for the Anti- Defamation League. “And so it has contributed over the years to fueling a lot of speculation and conspiracy theories about the guides’ true intent.”

The 16-foot-tall (5-meter-tall) panels carried a 10-part message in eight different languages ​​with advice for living to an “age of reason”. One part called for keeping the world’s population at 500 million or less, while another called for “guiding reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity”.

It also served as a sundial and astronomical calendar. But it was the panels’ mention of eugenics, population control and world government that made them the target of far-right conspirators.

A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR

This aerial image from video shows damage to the Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

WSB-TV/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

WSB-TV/AP

A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR

This aerial image from video shows damage to the Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

WSB-TV/AP

The monument’s notoriety took off with the rise of the internet, Kubas said, until it became a roadside tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors each year.

The site received renewed attention during the Georgia gubernatorial primary on May 24 when third-place Republican candidate Kandiss Taylor claimed the Guiding Stones were satanic and made tearing them down part of her platform. form. Comedian John Oliver introduced the Guides and Taylor in a late May segment. McCarthy said right-wing figures, including Alex Jones, had talked about it in previous years, but “kind of got back on the public radar” because of Taylor.

“God is God alone. He can do ANYTHING he wants,” Taylor wrote on social media on Wednesday. “This includes eliminating Satanic Guidestones.”

The monument had been vandalized before, including when it was spray painted in 2008 and 2014, McCarthy said. She said the bombing is another example of how conspiracy theories “have and can have an impact in the real world”.

“We’ve seen this with QAnon and several other conspiracy theories, that these ideas can cause someone to try to take action to further these beliefs,” McCarthy said. “They may try to target people and institutions that are at the center of these false beliefs.”

Kubas and many other people interpreted the stones as a sort of guide to rebuilding society after an apocalypse.

“It’s up to your own interpretation of how you want to see them,” Kubas said.

A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR

Police tape block off the damaged Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

Rose Scoggins/The Elberton Star/AP


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Rose Scoggins/The Elberton Star/AP

A Georgian monument, considered by some to be satanic, was damaged in a pre-dawn explosion: NPR

Police tape block off the damaged Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Georgia on Wednesday.

Rose Scoggins/The Elberton Star/AP

The site is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Elberton and about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Atlanta, near the South Carolina border. Granite mining is a prominent local industry, employing around 2,000 people in the region, Kubas said.

Elbert County Sheriff’s Deputies, Elberton Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are among the agencies trying to figure out what happened. Bomb squad technicians were called in to search for evidence and a national road that passes close to the site was closed for some time.

No suspects have been identified.

Kubas said local officials and community leaders will have to decide who, if anyone, will pay for catering.

“If you didn’t like it, you didn’t have to come see it and read it,” Kubas said. “But unfortunately someone decided they didn’t want anyone to read it.”

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