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Georgia Guidestones monument, called satanic by some, torn down after bombing

A rural Georgia monument that some conservative Christians criticized as satanic and others dubbed “America’s Stonehenge” was demolished Wednesday after a predawn bombing 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, and later knocked down “for safety reasons,” leaving a pile of rubble in a picture that investigators published.

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

The 16-foot-high (5-meter-high) panels bore a 10-part message in eight different languages with guidance for living in an “age of reason.” One part called for keeping world population at 500 million or below, while another calls to “guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.” 

The 16-foot-high (5-meter-high) panels bore a 10-part message in eight different languages with guidance for living in an “age of reason.” One part called for keeping world population at 500 million or below, while another calls to “guide 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 global government that made them a target of far-right conspiracists.

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

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

The site is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Elberton and about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Atlanta, near the South Carolina state line. Granite quarrying is a top local industry, employing about 2,000 in the area, Kubas said.

Elbert County sheriff’s deputies, Elberton police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are among agencies trying to figure out what happened. Bomb squad technicians were called out to look for evidence, and a state highway that runs near the site was closed for a time.

No suspects were identified.