Georgia’s Own Doomsday Stonehenge Monument
September 9, 2013 11:40 PM   Subscribe

“Planned genocide has begun,” read the Facebook entry on one of the groups I browse daily. The link: a picture of five monoliths looming like an American Stonehenge over a lush and lonely hill in remote Elberton, Georgia. I was only an hour away at the time, and decided to visit them in person.
posted by empath (65 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Now that's epic trolling.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:54 PM on September 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Infowars dot com got in there with first post (-apocalyptic lunacy and vandalism)
posted by davemee at 11:58 PM on September 9, 2013


The conspiracy theory is that R. C. Christian is Ted Turner.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:59 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


That lede confused me - where's the planned genocide come in, exactly? Is that how we get down to the half-billion?
posted by gingerest at 12:15 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Leave room for nature."

I concur.
posted by Kerasia at 12:35 AM on September 10, 2013


Wikipedia entry.

If you were left wondering what the other instructions were, here you go:

1.Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
3.Unite humanity with a living new language.
4.Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
5.Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6.Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7.Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8.Balance personal rights with social duties.
9.Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
10.Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 12:51 AM on September 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


3.Unite humanity with a living new language.

I'm betting on Klingon.
posted by dubold at 12:56 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I went and visited the GA Guidestones last year and was surprised at the number of people who were out there. It wasn't Stonehenge crowded or anything, but still there were about 6 or 7 other cars in the parking lot.

I didn't get out to the rows and rows of FEMA coffins that are supposed to be stacked somewhere nearby, however.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 12:59 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just amazing how much human respect rocks.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:05 AM on September 10, 2013


Avoid petty laws and useless officials.

Hm, I think useless bankers have edged ahead of the useless officials in recent years (bubbling under - useless lawyers).
posted by Segundus at 1:05 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Martin has been hectored for his association with the Guidestones. “Some evangelicals, of which I am one, claim it’s the work of the devil and the Antichrist,” he explains. Conspiracy theorists, meanwhile, claim the stones are the work of the New World Order, a purported global elite that intends to depopulate the world through controlled genocide and then rule it. In 2008, vandals defaced the surface of the slabs, spray-painting “Jesus will beat u satanist” and “No one world government.”

If they're attracting this sort of committed fuckwittery I say break 'em up for road surfacing.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:16 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't believe you guys haven't found the rest of the instructions yet.
posted by 23 at 1:25 AM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Seeing as the instructions are humane and sensible, it's definitely the work of a crank.
posted by maxwelton at 1:30 AM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I imagine some post-apocalyptic survivor, like the man at the beginning of Monty Python, struggling through vast deserts around these stones, fighting off hyenas and struggling with starvation, to find that the wisdom bequeathed him by the Elders is to keep the population under 500,000,000.
posted by Segundus at 1:38 AM on September 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


If they're attracting this sort of committed fuckwittery I say break 'em up for road surfacing.

Yes, let's get rid of everything that people find offensive! Once everything's been pureed into a moist pablum we'll truly have peace!
posted by dubold at 1:40 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


if they're attracting this sort of committed fuckwittery I say break 'em up for road surfacing.

Why? It might even be useful to have a local fuckwit magnet - scratching on a hunk of granite probably being one of the least damaging things a committed fuckwit will get up to.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:44 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whatever else this says about us as a species, it is evidence that we are not entirely boring.

I'm betting on Klingon.

Mi trovi via ideo stranga. Ni jam havi la lingvo kreita al propagandi unueco trans landlimo: Esperanto.

(tradukilo)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:10 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Saluton amiko!
posted by 23 at 2:34 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


According to Wikipedia, the modern languages in which the guidelines are engraved are English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. I am really curious about the quality of the non-English texts.

The article referenced in the OP has an astronomer saying that the astronomical features of the monument are mediocre at best: "The Guidestones are an abacus compared to Stonehenge’s computer. They’re very ordinary. You could do the same thing with concrete in your back yard."

So I wonder if those other texts read as something by Google Translate (which of course didn't exist at the time). And if so, I worry that their wild divergence will confound the linguistically inclinded offspring of survivors of the Apocalypse for ages to come.
posted by moody cow at 2:41 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


dubold: " 3.Unite humanity with a living new language.

I'm betting on Klingon.
"

vIq QI'yaH qech. Dunmo' wIv law' tlhIngan tu'lu', 'e' vIlay' SoH.
posted by Samizdata at 2:43 AM on September 10, 2013


Hal Mumkin: "I went and visited the GA Guidestones last year and was surprised at the number of people who were out there. It wasn't Stonehenge crowded or anything, but still there were about 6 or 7 other cars in the parking lot.

I didn't get out to the rows and rows of FEMA coffins that are supposed to be stacked somewhere nearby, however.
"

What kind of apocalyptic conspiracy tourist are you, anyway? Sad lack of effort.
posted by Samizdata at 2:44 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.

This sounds a lot like eugenics. Hardly what I'd call "humane and sensible".

Interesting piece, though the stones strike me as pretty mundane, one person's 'for when the bombs fall' project.
posted by Dysk at 3:09 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dysk: "2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity."

This sounds a lot like eugenics. Hardly what I'd call "humane and sensible.


I initially frowned at that too, but then I reckoned 'diversity' is the opposite of an Aryan master race or whatever its post-Apocalyptic equivalent. And 'fitness' strikes me as something we strive for with one of our more universal taboos: incest.
posted by moody cow at 3:26 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure the end goals really matter that much, I find eugenics pretty distasteful in and of itself. The focus on 'fitness' doesn't promise much for the lot of the disabled or neuro-atypical, either...
posted by Dysk at 3:30 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I doubt "guiding reproduction" is meant so differently from limiting the population, both represent limits on reproductive freedoms, but presumably you implement both through humane measures like genetic counseling, alternative reproductive options, taxation, etc.

There won't remain much sense in eugenics as classically understood via selective breading much longer anyways because genetic engineering will soon take over. At that point, your main threats become corporate malfeasance allowing dangerous modifications onto the market and monocultures arising via human choice, just like with genetically modified crops today.

We could eliminate the corporate malfeasance by eliminating patents on genetics and genetic treatments and basically nationalizing that industry. Ain't quite so easy to prevent parents from all choosing the same modifications though. Does a lottery that limits what genetic modifications your child may receive qualify as eugenics?
posted by jeffburdges at 3:40 AM on September 10, 2013


Dysk: "I'm not sure the end goals really matter that much, I find eugenics pretty distasteful in and of itself. The focus on 'fitness' doesn't promise much for the lot of the disabled or neuro-atypical, either..."

Yeah, that's the problem with guidelines, advice and commandments.

Although I still think you can't go too wrong reminding people to wear sunscreen.
posted by moody cow at 3:43 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eberton, Georgia?

Why do gods and aliens always pick places without even a fucking Dairy Queen to announce their End is Nigh bullshit?

Also, even one million coffins would need a warehouse the size of a small town.
posted by spitbull at 4:02 AM on September 10, 2013


Which is why they are using FEMA-brand Body Bags (tm)!
posted by spitbull at 4:03 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I imagine some post-apocalyptic survivor, like the man at the beginning of Monty Python, struggling through vast deserts around these stones, fighting off hyenas and struggling with starvation, to find that the wisdom bequeathed him by the Elders is to keep the population under 500,000,000.

Yeah, there's plenty of 'Thanks a lot asshole' in these things. Somebody with more money than sense putting up their own Moral ABC.

My post-apocalyptic monument?

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.*

...also floss, and wear sunscreen

*courtesy of Vonnegut, obv.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:03 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Although I still think you can't go too wrong reminding people to wear sunscreen.

Or seatbelts.

And I'd be cool with "thou shalt always wash thy hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after using the restroom" as an unbreakable commandment.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:04 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


good point, basic sanitation and hygiene training would probably save more lives than anything else at a reboot. Also, some kind of 'stay away from the rocks that are warm all the time' radiation warning would be helpful depending upon circumstances.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:06 AM on September 10, 2013


Be excellent to each other.
posted by knapah at 4:08 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


My post-apocalyptic monument?

If I were etching instructions on a giant granite slab, I'd want those instructions to be something like Ryan North's Time Travel Cheat Sheet.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:23 AM on September 10, 2013


Best. Prank. Evar.
"R.C. Christian" died laughing his ass off.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:28 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.

"You will jog for the master race."
posted by otto42 at 4:37 AM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm cool with anything that makes those infowars nutters hyperventilate enough to pass out and leave the rest of us alone.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:38 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


11. Dilute! Dilute!
posted by thelonius at 4:52 AM on September 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ya know, one thing that strikes me is, who owns the land? Who pays the property taxes? Who maintains it (grass cutting and suchlike), who pays for that maintanence, who hires/fires the maintenance men? If you really want to know who built it, there's ways to find out, even if it's a corporate entity: follow the trail, people, even if it's an area where no zoning permits are required.

Sure, some total stranger just wandered into town and said "make me a monument; put it here; thanks, here's a check, bye", and nobody knows who owns/controls the land it's on?!?
posted by easily confused at 5:10 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


moody cow: ""The Guidestones are an abacus compared to Stonehenge’s computer."

Wow, big abacus dis there.
posted by chavenet at 5:22 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do gods and aliens always pick places without even a fucking Dairy Queen to announce their End is Nigh bullshit?

At the beginning of the second world war, they believed they could give Hitler super weapon designs that would result in a situation where the human race would obliterate itself, but they didn't believe nuclear fission could ever be achieved outside of stars or deep in the crust of geologically young planets.

They're kind of scared of us now.

But... they can't go home until the human race is extinct, and a garden planet awaits colonization.

So they're asking us politely to stop existing, and hope no-one in charge down here actually notices them doing it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:25 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wonder what it was about 1979, that's the year the Sighthill circle was started in Glasgow as well. Now being defended from the council by Mogwai.
posted by titus-g at 5:30 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


IIRC, Elberton county actually owns the land on which the Guidestones sit. Some believe they were created as a publicity stunt for the granite concerns in the area.

Regardless, I do enjoy their anachronistic appearance.
posted by Kikkoman at 5:35 AM on September 10, 2013


It's a cookbook!
posted by kinnakeet at 5:49 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


From the article:
a slot through which you can watch the sun rise during the summer or winter equinox

Seriously, Discover?
posted by rocket88 at 5:51 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Despite receiving funding from the government’s Jobs Creation Scheme and the help of a Royal Navy helicopter to lift the stones from Kilsyth quarry and set them in place"

Lightweights. I remember Job Creation Schemes and they should have moved those stones the old fashioned way.

Very disappointed to find out Mogwai are a band. I thought you meant Morlocks. Or possibly Morgoth. Wait, what are Mogwai?

Oh.
posted by glasseyes at 6:12 AM on September 10, 2013


Seeing as the instructions are humane and sensible, it's definitely the work of a crank.

Well, humane and sensible if you're one of the lucky half-billion.
posted by Panjandrum at 6:24 AM on September 10, 2013


Why do gods and aliens always pick places without even a fucking Dairy Queen to announce their End is Nigh bullshit?

Question not the wisdom of alien gods! Blizzards are buy one at regular price, get a second for 99¢.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:26 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Quick question: does Elberton County therefore "maintain" the stones?

Who goes and cleans off the sacrificial blood once the pagans have left?
posted by coachfortner at 6:30 AM on September 10, 2013


I'm betting on Klingon.

Lojban!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:41 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the article:
a slot through which you can watch the sun rise during the summer or winter equinox

Seriously, Discover?


It's Georgia; the seasons do kind of blend together.
posted by achrise at 6:51 AM on September 10, 2013


Why do gods and aliens always pick places without even a fucking Dairy Queen to announce their End is Nigh bullshit?

They, being wise, do not meddle in the affairs of the Dairy Queen, for she is subtle and quick to anger, and many are the reckless fools lost forever in her Blizzards.
posted by 23 at 6:54 AM on September 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


7.Avoid petty laws and useless officials.

WHOO HOO NO NEW TAXES

8.Balance personal rights with social duties.

wait, u trying to take my guns?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:57 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


11. In conclusion the World is a land of many contrasts. Thank you.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:58 AM on September 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


“The purpose of the monument’s ten edicts,” Smith wrote me by email, “is to establish the groundwork for a totalitarian global government

This makes sense once you realize that all national governments that currently exist laid their groundwork on 240,000 pounds of stone and then erected them in very conspicuous locations. Most especially secretive governments that didn't want anyone to know they were going to exist soon.
posted by IvoShandor at 7:03 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]




I have yet to visit these but I have been to Elberton and I would like to point out that it does, in fact, have a Dairy Queen. As to questions about the ownership of the land and such, a lot of that is answered in this Wired article, from this FPP.

Finally, if you were going to erect a massive granite monument, where better to do it than the Granite Capitol of the World?
posted by TedW at 8:06 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, humane and sensible if you're one of the lucky half-billion.

The people who read it and skip straight to thinking it means genocide, are described as cranks.
(And judging from the recent studies, all that is required for population control at or below replacement levels is to grant women education, options in life, and access to contraceptives should they choose to want them. When women are given a say in their future "kept barefoot and pregnant" tends to stop happening)
posted by anonymisc at 9:25 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I visited these monuments with my family when I was in 3rd grade. It was a windy day and my father, who was a preacher (albeit of the intellectual variety), stood beside the monuments and told us about how Elberton was the Granite Capitol of the World, and we wondered at who the eccentric (presumably rich) man was who made them.

Even as a child it was apparent the writings were a bit...wonky. My sister, two years younger, ran around like little kids do, then she'd pause periodically to read an aphorism and turn to the video camera and shrug her shoulders.

I wish I could say we went to Dairy Queen afterwards and drank lime slushies, but Momma had food and water bottles for us in the car.

In other weird stone monuments of the South, I highly recommend a day trip to Fields of the Wood up in Murphy, NC.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 9:28 AM on September 10, 2013


I initially frowned at that too, but then I reckoned 'diversity' is the opposite of an Aryan master race or whatever its post-Apocalyptic equivalent.

I dunno. 'Maintain diversity' is all well and good in the here and now, but over the long term it seems a bit "miscegenation is bad m'kay?"
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 AM on September 10, 2013


Drink yer Ovaltine.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:42 AM on September 10, 2013


moody cow: "The article referenced in the OP has an astronomer saying that the astronomical features of the monument are mediocre at best: "The Guidestones are an abacus compared to Stonehenge’s computer. They’re very ordinary. You could do the same thing with concrete in your back yard.""

Which brings to mind Stonehenge II, made by the civil engineering dept of my Alma Mater (which was the University of Missouri--Rolla, but they've changed names twice now, so I don't really know what to call them).

They cut a ?half?-sized stonehenge out of limestone with water jet technology, to prove something or other. Since they didn't have room for the farther-off sighting stones, they added a pinhole and an analemma. It won design awards. Yay them!

The very next year they built a new Student Health Center just south of it that blocked the sun from the structure over much of the year. Yay them.

On a drunken wandering one night with friends, I pulled myself up to the level of the plinths, and discovered that they adjusted the plinths to level with gravel and wood shims (the plinths overshadowed the risers far enough that rain never really got in there - and I suspect the gravel was the fallback safety).

4,000 years of technological advancement, and our replica of Stonehenge was fine-tuned with shims and gravel. Yay for my Alma Mater. Whatever it's called.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


moody cow: "Dysk: "2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity."

This sounds a lot like eugenics. Hardly what I'd call "humane and sensible.


I initially frowned at that too, but then I reckoned 'diversity' is the opposite of an Aryan master race or whatever its post-Apocalyptic equivalent. And 'fitness' strikes me as something we strive for with one of our more universal taboos: incest.
"

Or more like the possibility of "Avoid a monoculture"?
posted by Samizdata at 11:07 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's imaginable that a set of parallel texts might prove useful to some future archaeologist. Finally, a key to the lost, indecipherable language of 'English'.
posted by Segundus at 1:01 AM on September 11, 2013


Yup, that's how it's supposed to work, but I wonder about the accuracy of the translations.
posted by moody cow at 3:36 AM on September 11, 2013


Sys Rq: "I dunno. 'Maintain diversity' is all well and good in the here and now, but over the long term it seems a bit "miscegenation is bad m'kay?""

Can you elaborate on your reasoning here? Because I'm curious how a call for diversity eventually turns into inter-ethnic aversion.
posted by moody cow at 4:21 AM on September 11, 2013


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