Georgia Guidestones: Rural monument that some call satanic damaged in bombing, police say

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State and local officials are investigating a bombing at a rural Georgia monument that some conservative Christians have dubbed satanic and previously called for its demolition.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported that just before dawn Wednesday, someone detonated an explosive device and damaged the Georgia Guidestones, dubbed by some as “America’s Stonehenge.”

Erected in 1980, the massive granite monument is 7 miles north of Elberton, Georgia, near the South Carolina state line.

According to the GBI, preliminary information indicates unknown suspects set off the bomb at 4 a.m.

Law enforcement officials walk around the damaged Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Ga., on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the monument, which some Christians regard as satanic, was damaged by an explosion before dawn.
Law enforcement officials walk around the damaged Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton, Ga., on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the monument, which some Christians regard as satanic, was damaged by an explosion before dawn.
The North Celestial Pole swirls above the Georgia Guidestones in Elberton on Dec. 1, 2010. The granite monument often referred to as the "American Stonehenge" have ten guiding principles engraved on them in eight different languages.
The North Celestial Pole swirls above the Georgia Guidestones in Elberton on Dec. 1, 2010. The granite monument often referred to as the "American Stonehenge" have ten guiding principles engraved on them in eight different languages.

Elbert County Sheriff’s Office deputies who responded to the scene found the explosion destroyed "a large portion of the structure," the GBI reported.

No injuries were reported.

Elberton Granite Association Executive Vice President Chris Kubas told news outlets the monument was significantly damaged. Pictures and drone footage show one of the four stone panels in rubble on the ground.

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The roadside attraction was commissioned by an unknown person or group under the name R.C. Christian.

It's 19-feet-high and bears a 10-part message in eight languages for living in an “age of reason.” One part calls for keeping world population at 500 million or below, while another calls to “guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.”

The 19-foot tall Georgia Guidestones, shown  Aug. 8, 1998, have been drawing curious visitors to Elberton, Ga., since 1979. In a former cow pasture on a hilltop in east Georgia, four towering granite stones offer advice in eight languages on how to conserve mankind and the earth. A handful of people know who put them there.
The 19-foot tall Georgia Guidestones, shown Aug. 8, 1998, have been drawing curious visitors to Elberton, Ga., since 1979. In a former cow pasture on a hilltop in east Georgia, four towering granite stones offer advice in eight languages on how to conserve mankind and the earth. A handful of people know who put them there.

It also serves as a sundial and astronomical calendar.

The monument received renewed attention and a lengthy shoutout on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver during Georgia’s May 24 gubernatorial primary when third-place Republican candidate Kandiss Taylor claimed the Guidestones are satanic and made demolishing them part of her platform.

"God is God all by Himself. He can do ANYTHING He wants to do. That includes striking down Satanic Guidestones," Taylor tweeted Wednesday morning.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrests had been made in the case and the explosion remained under investigation by the sheriff's office and GBI.

Anyone with information is asked contact the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office or the GBI Athens Office.

The Associated Press contributed.

Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Georgia Guidestones explosion: Police say monument damaged in bombing