“Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason”
–The Georgia Guidestones
There is a uniquely American monument that you won’t see discussed very often in all the standard encyclopedias and travelogues: The Georgia Guidestones.
Located in Elbert County, Georgia, the Guidestones are somewhat of a “modern Stonehenge”—consisting of 5 massive slabs of granite topped with a sixth slab. Engraved on the slabs is a whole host of information, including something resembling almost a secular “Ten Commandments”:
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.
Truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
Whether those words leave you with merely an assenting nod or a massive blast of paranoid horror really depends on your personal ideology. They are, you could say, a bit of a “litmus test.”
Some feel that these new “Ten Commandments” make completely rational sense—a sentiment echoed on an inscription on the Guidestones’ “explanatory tablet”:
Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason
Others feel the Guidestones are Satanic and part-and-parcel of some sort of “New World Order” scheme. Hence the vandalism that has befallen the monument over the years, of the “Jesus will beat u” variety.
What I feel on the matter will—and it should come as no big surprise to long-time readers—fully please neither side of the debate.
On one hand, many of the Guidestone Commandments sound perfectly reasonable. We should aim to preserve nature, we should balance faith and reason, we should have fair courts, we should have some sense of social responsibility, and so on.
On the other hand…500,000,000 sounds awfully less than the 7.6 billion people on the planet today, or the 4.4 billion who were around when the Guidestones were first built in 1980. So, then…who’s getting off the Earth???
Haha, you can be sure that most of the rich and powerful will be staying. Unless the Earth is ready to collapse, in which all the rich and powerful will be going into elaborate underground luxury bunkers or shooting to Mars in a Space-Ark.
And this is why the Georgia Guidestones, to me, seem so emblematic of the central dilemma facing humanity at the moment.
Of course, when the Guidestones were built, the U.S. and Russia were in the middle of a Cold War with the serious threat of global nuclear destruction. So in that light, you could almost interpret the monument as being something built to perhaps withstand an Apocalypse—giving “instructions” (in several different languages) to the survivors.
And who built the Guidestones, you might ask? Well, the story goes that in 1979 a man with the name “Robert C. Christian,” on behalf of “a small group of loyal Americans,” approached the Elberton Granite Finishing Company to construct the Guidestones. Christian claimed to be working with a secret group who had been planning the Guidestones for the last 20 years.
Some theorize that “R.C. Christian” might stand for Rose Cross Christian, or “Christian Rosenkreuz”—representing the Rosicrucian Order. As detailed in the book The Secret History Of The World there are many secret/semi-secret/exclusive societies in the world, such as the Rosicrucians, who might have an interest in such a philosophy. A philosophy that incorporates this balance between faith and reason.
As of this writing, the Georgia Guidestones still remains intact and standing. Perhaps 50 years from now they will be seen as just an obscure curiosity erected by a bunch of semi-religious nuts; or maybe they will be the cornerstone of a whole new (“new”) religion.