No One Knows Who Is Behind The Georgia Guidestones Or What Their True Purpose Is

The world is full of strange buildings and artifacts - both manmade and natural - that baffle those who encounter them. Some are strange due to their structure, others because of our inability to decipher their intended meaning.

One excellent example of this is the Georgia Guidestones in Elberton. Commissioned in 1979 by a man whose identity was purposefully kept a secret, the "American Stonehenge" contains supposed advice for rebuilding civilization after the end of the world. 

The granite architecture still stands in Georgia today, but even after decades, seemingly no one understands who's really behind the Guidestones, what their purpose is, or why they exist at all.

Photo: Shawn Taylor / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

  • The Mysterious R.C. Christian Traveled To Elberton, GA, To Commission A Monument

    Joe Fendley, president of Elberton Granite Finishing Company, received a strange visitor in June 1979. Robert C. Christian approached Fendley and shared that he wanted to build a monument with a similar design to Stonehenge but bearing inscriptions as "a message for future generations." Christian told Fendley he was a part of a well-funded group of Americans who saw the Georgia Guidestones as a culmination of 20 years of work.

    Furthermore, Christian admitted his name was false and that both he and the group he represented were to remain anonymous throughout the construction of the monument, as well as after.

  • Since Money Was No Object, Fendley Agreed To Build The Guidestones

    Christian chose the city of Elberton because it was the "Granite Capital of the World" and because of its mild climate, which was less likely to wear on the monument and its etchings. The town sits on a large granite deposit that provided the materials for the Georgia Guidestones - enough to build to Christian's specifications. Fendley received a prototype similar to Stonehenge but with the massive pieces in an "X" instead of a circle and Christian's specifications for the immense structure. 

    Since money was supposedly no object, Christian wanted four stones standing vertically with a capstone atop. Each of the four 20-ton rectangular stones was etched with the mysterious group's 10 Principles in eight different languages, front and back. The 25,000-pound capstone bears four different alphabets: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Babylonian cuneiform, Sanskrit, and classical Greek. There is also a center column with holes and slots through which the sun permeates, shining onto different places on the monument to indicate the cardinal directions as well as the current time and season.

    After receiving all of this information, Fendley sent Christian to meet with banker Wyatt Martin at Granite City Bank.

  • Christian Met With Wyatt Martin And Made Some Strange Demands

    In meeting with Wyatt Martin at Granite City Bank, Christian once again explained what he wanted and who wanted it. However, he also revealed to Martin his true identity with the agreement that the banker would not reveal it and that all documentation required to build the Guidestones would be destroyed upon the completion of the project. Martin agreed and, to this day, has never uttered the stranger's true name to anyone. Christian emphasized that letting people know his true name would detract from the stones themselves, with the mystery of his identity drawing in curious visitors.

    The two discussed the location of the Guidestones - a 5-acre plot in a rural area 8 miles outside of Elberton, away from crowds and tourists. Christian hoped others would add to the monument with their like-minded structures, although that has not yet come to pass. 

    The pair also discussed the project's six-figure price tag, and Martin agreed to act as a liaison on behalf of Christian and the secretive group he represented.

  • Christian Bought Land To Begin Construction On The Guidestones But Immediately Turned The Deed Over To Elbert County

    Christian purchased 5 acres of land from Wayne and Mildred Mullenix, which includes the highest point in the county. The Mullenix family not only retained grazing rights for the cattle living on the other 35 acres of their farmland, but they also laid the foundation for the stones. After closing this deal for the location and paying Fendley a $10,000 deposit, Christian left the state and acted only through Martin for the entirety of the project. 

    A few weeks after leaving, Christian contacted Martin to transfer the land deed to Elbert County with the notion that owning the monument would inspire the people of the area to take care of it.

  • The Guidestones Have Strict Astronomical Placements

    In order to properly convey the time, season, and compass directions, Fendley needed experts in astronomy to guide his workers. The placement of the four upright slabs needed to correspond to the moon's movements throughout the year. A hole in one of the stones is oriented on Polaris, the North Star. Another hole corresponds to solstices. The Guidestones also act as a large sundial. An astronomer from the University of Georgia worked with Fendley to properly drill holes and make placements for the pieces of the Guidestones to fulfill the astronomical facets of its design.

    The eight languages used in the translation of the 10 Principles etched into the stones required assistance for accuracy, as well. The United Nations helped with the use of dead languages for the translation of the phrase, "Let these be Guidestones to an Age of Reason."

  • The Guidestones Were Unveiled, And People Were Immediately Unsettled By The Messages

    The Georgia Guidestones were unveiled to a large group of people on March 22, 1980, and immediately the spectators were divided on the intent of the 10 Principles. The first tenant is "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature," which led many people to question how this was to be accomplished with billions of people in the world. Were the stones pushing murder, genocide, or other unethical means of maintaining this status quo?

    The second edict, "Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity," brought to mind eugenics and the Nazi ideals of ridding the gene pools of certain races and traits. "Unite humanity with a living new language" seemed innocuous until local church leaders connected that to the one-government world sought by the Antichrist. Furthermore, the fourth ideal of "Rule Passion - Faith - Tradition - and all things with tempered reason" was shocking to some who believed faith trumps the other three. 

    The other principles outlined on the monument were less controversial:

    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.