[Site editor's note: This article below by Graham Hancock was first published in the newly available Disinformation title The Georgia Guidestones: America’s Most Mysterious Monument.]
Not all ancient monuments are mysterious and not all mysterious monuments are ancient.
The Georgia Guidestones are decidedly not ancient—until 1980 there was nothing on top of that bare hill outside of Elberton, Georgia—yet there is much that is extremely mysterious about them.
Raymond Wiley and KT Prime do a first-class job in this little book of telling what is known about the stones, and what is not, revealing and exploring their mysteries one by one. They always keeps their feet on the ground and avoid extravagant or fanciful explanations when a simpler one will do. This only makes it all the more mysterious, after the ground has been so thoroughly raked over, that we still to this day do not know the true identity of the man calling himself R. C. Christian who commissioned and paid for the monument!
What is unmissable, is the strong whiff of seventeenth century Rosicrucianism running through the whole story; indeed the Guidestones bear many of the hallmarks of a “Rosicrucian stunt” in the classic mold designed to shake things up, challenge old and entrenched positions, get people thinking along new lines.
One night in 1623, for example, dramatic placards were positioned on the walls of many public buildings in Paris and distributed along all the main streets of the city. They contained pronouncements from the “deputies of the principal College of the Brothers of the Rose Cross who show and teach without books or marks how to speak all languages of the countries where we wish to be and to draw men from error and death.” The placards also stated that the deputies were “making a visible and invisible stay in the city.” In other words they would be seen only by those who they wished to see them, while to others they would be invisible.
The placards caused a “hurricane” of rumor about the mysterious Rose Cross fraternity and its eponymous founder Christian Rosenkreutz. Various Rosicrucian documents, espousing radical and far-reaching ideas, had already begun to circulate and hundreds more were to appear, going on to play a key role in the Enlightenment. Bizarrely, however, it was always also understood that Rosicrucianism—and certainly its core notion of a secret brotherhood of sages and savants waiting in the wings to take over the guidance of society—was something of a hoax and that the so-called Rosicrucian Manifestoes were allegorical in nature.
All this seems to me to fit perfectly with the strange story of the Guidestones, starting of course with the elusive funder “R. C. Christian” (i.e., Christian Rosenkreutz), who claims to represent a group of Americans who believe in God (like the original members of the Rosy Cross Brotherhood), who is visible to some in the Elberton community but not to others, and who creates a monument inscribed in multiple languages “to convey certain ideas across time [and to] hasten in small ways the dawning of an age of reason.”
I suggest, however, that the ideas expressed in the stones’ inscriptions, like the ideas in the original Rosicrucian Manifestoes, are there first and foremost to get people worked up emotionally and engaged intellectually with issues they might otherwise pass over. Thus, for example, the statement on the Guidestones that we should “Maintain Humanity Under 500,000,000” does not have to be in any way “true,” or rooted in any great wisdom, or even something that “R. C. Christian” himself necessarily believed in, to fulfill the function of shaking up our thinking about global population and alerting us to the moral, ethical and other issues involved in enforced population control. Likewise the notion of a “world court” that appears on the Guidestones may be a piece of advocacy for such an institution, or it may again simply be intended to make us think.
To this extent the extreme reactions the monument has provoked, including the 2008 spray paint and polyepoxide attack, could be exactly what “R. C. Christian” and his shadowy group hoped for and intended when they conceived of and commissioned the Guidestones. To attack something in the realm of ideas one must first get to grips with it and try to understand it. As we do this, though it may be subtle at first, it can begin to shape and change us.
What better form of initiation is there than the one that leads us to initiate ourselves?
Graham Hancock is the author of Fingerprints of the Gods and Supernatural, and co-author, with Robert Bauval, of The Master Game.