An explosion on Wednesday rocked a Georgia tourist attraction that had become a campaign focus of a far-right GOP candidate for governor, who described it as Satanic and vowed to demolish it.
In an email, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told BuzzFeed News that unknown individuals detonated an explosive device at around 4 a.m. Wednesday at the Georgia Guidestones, destroying a large portion of the granite structure. The investigation is active and ongoing, and Elbert County Sheriff's Office and the GBI are examining the site.
Kandiss Taylor, who sought the GOP nomination for governor on the platform of "Jesus, guns, and babies," had promised to sign an executive order dismantling the monument if elected and produced a campaign video vowing to "demolish the Satanic Georgia Guidestones." (She ultimately received only 3.4% of the vote in the state's Republican primary in May.)
The Georgia Guidestones, sometimes referred to as an "American Stonehenge," have regularly been the focus of conspiracy theories. The 16-foot-tall stones are inscribed with 10 guidelines in eight modern languages and four ancient scripts, and they can be seen as a compass, calendar, survival guide for catastrophic events - or, particularly the message about keeping global population to 500 million, as something more sinister.
The monument has been the center of much speculation since 1979 when a man named Robert C. Christian who said he represented "a small group of loyal Americans" commissioned Elberton Granite Finishing to install it; it's unclear why. Yoko Ono has praised the monument, while others have said it belongs to the Antichrist, according to Wired.
In her campaign, Taylor connected the monument to her distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine, abortion as "demonic worship," and the New World Order, the longstanding (and baseless) conspiracy that an authoritarian globalist government is coming.
"If we don't call things out, and we don't acknowledge them and we don't take authority and take dominion over what God's given us, then we are no better than the evil ones that put it up," Taylor said in the video.
GBI did not respond questions about whether they believe Taylor had any connection to the explosion, and Taylor did not respond to BuzzFeed News's request for comment. On Wednesday, after news broke about the explosion, Taylor tweeted, "God is God all by Himself. He can do anything He wants."
The monument has been vandalized before, and others have also called for it to be removed.
During a June meeting of the county's board meeting of commissioners, a pastor asked the board to remove the Guidestones, saying it's a religious monument and its inscriptions support genocide, advocates the killing of 6.5 billion people, and supports abortion and Planned Parenthood, the Elberton Star & Examiner reported.
"I've never known anyone other than Kandiss Taylor to consider this a statement of faith," county attorney Bill Daughtry said, according to the newspaper.
"It's simply a tourist attraction," he continued. "We don't have to disagree with it or understand it. You looked at it and saw abortion in big letters, which I've looked at it and I did not see that. It's been there for years. People pull off the interstate and come and spend their money at local businesses after they look at a funny monument."