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Georgia monument with mysterious history partially destroyed in explosion

A monument that has become a fixation for conspiracy theorists was the apparent target of a predawn bombing.

(CN) — The Georgia Guidestones, a monument which has become the subject of many conspiracy theories, was partially destroyed when an explosion blew apart a section of the granite slabs early Wednesday morning.

"The preliminary information indicates that unknown individuals detonated an explosive device at around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6," the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. "Elbert County Sheriff's Office personnel responded to discover the explosion destroyed a large portion of the structure."

Pictures of the site shared on social media show one of the monument’s four 19-foot tall granite pillars reduced to rubble.

Sometimes called the “American Stonehenge,” the Guidestones were commissioned in 1980 by an anonymous patron under the name Robert C. Christian who claimed to represent a “small group of loyal Americans who believe in God.”

The identity of the person or group who paid for the monument remains a closely guarded secret.

The monument sits in a field north of Elberton, Georgia, and functions as both a sundial and an astronomical calendar. The pillars, which each weigh more than 25 tons, are engraved with a 10-part message in eight different languages advocating for population control, harmony with nature and national sovereignty.

The inscriptions appear to offer guidance on how humanity should recover from an apocalyptic event.

Conspiracy theorists have latched onto the Guidestones’ strange messages – one tablet is engraved with advice to keep Earth's population under 500 million people and “guide reproduction wisely” – as proof of a eugenics plot by a global government or other baseless conspiracies.

Far-right Republican gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor has echoed some of the conspiracy theories surrounding the Guidestones, even going so far as to make them a centerpiece of her unsuccessful primary campaign.

Taylor, who received just 3.4% of the primary vote and was defeated by incumbent Brian Kemp in May, promised to hand down an executive order to demolish the stones if elected.

In a campaign video, Taylor drove to the monument and linked it to “the Satanic regime.”

On Wednesday, she appeared to celebrate the explosion on Twitter.

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

As of Wednesday afternoon, investigators had not released details about any possible suspects or motive. The GBI has said the investigation is active and ongoing.

This is not the first time the Guidestones have been intentionally damaged. The monument was graffitied with the phrase “Death to the New World Order” in 2008, and in 2019 a man carved “WWG1WGA,” an acronym used by QAnon conspiracy theorists to identify each other, into the rock.

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