The goal of the New World Order is the creation of a single world government and the destruction of national sovereignty and religion. A significant number of Christian dispensationalists subscribe to this view and believe that the New World Order was foretold in the Book of Revelation. In 2005, Mark Dice (using the pseudonym "John Connor" in reference to the Terminator film franchise) organized a Christian group opposed to the New World Order called "The Resistance" and began a campaign to have the monument destroyed. In 2007, radio personality and filmmaker Alex Jones released a documentary entitled Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement, outlining a plan by the Bilderberg group and other global elites to exterminate 80 percent of humanity. The Georgia Guidestones are cited as primary evidence of this plot.
The call of The Resistance was eventually answered with an attack on the stones by vandals who used a can of red spray-paint to write messages such as, "The elite want 80% of us dead," "9-11 inside job," "Obama iz a Muslim," and "Council on Foreign Relations is ran by the Devil." The stones were also splashed with polyurethane, which is especially difficult to remove. The vandalism has been celebrated on numerous Web sites discussing the New World Order's agenda; with only a few dissenting voices pointing out that any assault on free speech, even the free speech of an anonymous cabal, threatens the rights of all. The vandalism of the Guidestones seems to be a classic case of an eccentric and lofty idea under assault by the hoi polloi. In fact, a letter from the monument's benefactors printed by the Elberton Granite Finishing Company predicted just such a scenario. They ask that the people of Elberton County restore the stones should they be "scattered by people of little understanding."
The short history of the Guidestones has parallels with the history of other mysterious messages and prophesies. It seems plausible that whoever invented the name "R.C. Christian" -- be this an actual cabal or Fendley and Martin -- had some knowledge of Rosicrucianism. (Fendley was active in the local Shrine Club where he could have been exposed to Rosicrucian lore.) There are interesting similarities between the Guidestones and the origin of the Rosicrucian legend.
A European preoccupation with the mysterious Rosicrucian order began in Germany with the appearance of two anonymous documents in the early 17th century: Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Fraternitatis. Clearly someone wrote these documents although, much like the Guidestones, there is little evidence to determine whether these messages were a legitimate manifesto from a secret brotherhood or an elaborate hoax. But regardless of their origin, the excitement generated in the wake of anonymous messages is very real. Numerous modern esoteric groups claim a connection to the Rosicrucians just as conspiracy theorists regard the Guidestones as vital evidence of a demonic globalist agenda.
Another interesting parallel can be drawn between the Guidestones and the Book of Revelation. Both are texts of little-known origin warning of future peril. These conditions allow for historical-critical as well as dispensationalist readings of both messages. Scholars believe the Book of Revelation was written sometime in the 1st century and is a warning to early Christians not to conform to the evils of Greco-Roman society. Although the Guidestones were constructed relatively recently, they too have a historical context. The letter from the Guidestones' benefactors describes the problem of global overpopulation and warns that, "Armageddon can be prevented."
Whoever planned the monument in 1979 most likely imagined that Armageddon would take the form of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. "R.C. Christian" could not possibly have predicted the events referenced by the vandals, such as the attacks of September 11 or the election of Barack Obama. But Dice, and others like him, read the Guidestones much as they read the Book of Revelation: not as historical artifacts but as important clues to understanding current events. Stripping the messages of their historical contexts allows them to converge, so that they mutually confirm a dualistic cosmology in which Christians must battle the New World Order. Thus, evidence of the New World Order's unfolding plot can be found both in the Book of Revelation and in the Georgia Guidestones. Likewise, Dice's use of the pseudonym "John Connor" is very telling. Like the character in Terminator, he likely sees himself as one who knows the future and is fighting to prevent it from happening.
The history of the Guidestones is ultimately an interesting study in the heterogeneous nature of symbols. To build something so extraordinary with so little explanation created a vacuum of meaning. Much like the Guidestones' inspiration, Stonehenge, this caused new meanings to be invented. The Guidestones are essentially a spiritual and political Rorschach test onto which any number of ideas can be imposed. Pagans and New Agers created new myths and rituals, imbuing the stones with sacred reverence. For others, the monument is not the marker of a sacred space but the evidence of a demonic plot. Should the Guidestones survive for centuries as their creators intended, many more meanings could arise, equally unrelated to the designer's original intention.
Joseph Laycock is a doctoral candidate studying religion and society at Boston University. He is also the author of Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampires.