OPINION: Georgia Guidestones, a roadmap down the rabbithole

The conspiracy world is all fun and games until some nutjob brings dynamite to the party.

This week’s demolition of the Georgia Guidestones by explosion is the embodiment of that.

For 42 years the gigantic granite slabs were a silent testament of some curious, opaque directive, erected on a hill near Elberton, 100 miles northeast of Atlanta. It was purportedly erected by an anonymous out-of-towner and called “America’s Stonehenge,” but that moniker seemed like a locally inspired marketing ploy.

Its construction appeared to be purposefully odd, like a magnum opus built by an L. Ron Hubbard fan with lots of extra time and money on their hands. And perhaps a nonconforming sense of humor.

In fact, many conspiracy sleuths pointed a finger at Scientology’s founder as a likely suspect for the bizarre granite monstrosity. It was seemingly a starter kit to help mankind rebuild after the Apocalypse, a directory for a new Age of Reason. The four 19-foot-tall granite slabs were inscribed with instructions for civilization, written in eight languages. The instructions, in the form of a New Age Ten Commandments, advise humanity to live harmoniously, prize truth, embrace nature — and, oh yeah, to “guide reproduction wisely” and maintain the world’s population under 500 million, and unite under one language.

If that doesn’t bring forth visions of black helicopters, the Illuminati and the “New World Order,” I don’t know what will. It has become catnip for conspiracy theorists and the tinfoil hat crowd.

Every few years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has written about the Guidestones, either a feature explaining the strange collection of monoliths or attaching it to a list of Georgia roadside attractions. In 1988, Elberton’s mayor said, “There have been some occult-type things going on out there, also tribal ritualistic dancing, nude dancing, but there also have been Christian religious activities there and even a wedding.”

Credit: Contributed by Flickr

Credit: Contributed by Flickr

There have always been those who conjure up the dark forces, those who embrace the obscure or dive down rabbit holes to connect disparate dots to accommodate their worldview. With the advent of the Internet and then social media, all those folks were able to find each other with a few clicks. And then they fed off each other, ratcheting it up to 11 on the KookyMeter.

For the last decade or so, the Guidestones became sort of a focal point for outlandish claims of otherworldliness. The monument has repeatedly been the target of vandals, so much so that a videocam to observe middle-of-the-night tomfoolery had to be installed.

ExploreGeorgia Guidestones: What are they, what is written on them?

Enter Kandiss Taylor, a fringe candidate for governor who carved out her own, let’s say unusual, lane during this year’s GOP primary. And why not? Don’t forget that Marjorie Taylor Greene’s embrace of QAnon’s nuttiness before her campaigning helped lead her to the U.S. Congress.

On May 2, with the primary looming, Taylor announced she was “the ONLY candidate bold enough to stand up to the Luciferian Cabal.”

Georgia’s Governor Shotgun? He was playing it safe and nowhere to be found on the issue.

Taylor tweeted she’d “bring the Satanic Regime to its knees — and DEMOLISH the Georgia Guidestones.” In fact, that would be Executive Order No. 10. I wondered what executive orders were more important but did not look up No.s 1-9 because I didn’t want my brain cells to hurt.

Well, about 4 a.m. Wednesday someone took up the cause of demolition. A powerful explosion turned one of the massive monoliths into rubble and crews later had to topple the rest of the structure for safety reasons.

Quickly, Taylor went to Twitter to say, “God is God all by Himself. He can do ANYTHING He wants to do. That includes striking down Satanic Guidestones.”

Credit: Screengrab from ad

Credit: Screengrab from ad

Later, she posted a short video insisting that she’s a law-and-order lady and threatened to sue anyone suggesting she had anything to do with the KaBoom! In fact, she’s unsure it even was dynamite, apparently still believing it very well might have been the work of an otherworldly demolition crew.

“Until I see a video that shows me anything but what looks like lightning or the hand of God moving on a situation, I’m gonna to believe it’s God,” she said in video.

The GBI released a video of a silver car speeding away from the scene. But who knows? Jeremiah might have been at the wheel.

Do I think Taylor had a hand in this? Not really.

Do I think someone who’s not all there took up the mantle on their own and blew it up? Yup.

Northern Circuit District Attorney Parks White said he will prosecute those responsible for what he called an act of “domestic terrorism,” the Savannah Morning News reported.

I spoke with Katie McCarthy with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. “If people online in echo chambers hear something over and over and over, it takes root,” she said, adding that she was pointing no finger. “It’s not just silly things on the Internet. Things have real life consequences.”

But I’m glad of a couple of things. No one was hurt in the explosion. And just 3.4% of Republican voters supported Taylor in the election.

Still, that’s 41,000 adult Georgians. And that’s totally disturbing.

ExploreGBI releases new video of Georgia Guidestones bombing, showing a person nearby at time of explosion