James Wayne Cleveland
10 min readOct 20, 2022


The Common Sense Georgia Guidestones

This book is available via Amazon author Jim Cleveland, along with 21 other books on new spirituality, lyrical poetry and philosophical fiction. Here is chapters one and two, written before the vandalistic bombing on the monument recently. It solves the mystery of who is ‘R.C. Christian.’


The Mystery

“It’s a damned shame,” said my new friend. “This is an incredible monument meant to stand for thousands of years, and people are worried about some redneck destroying it with a pickup truck load of explosives.”

The monument is called the Georgia Guidestones, a massive, intricately-designed creation of granite from a nearby quarry. It was commissioned by a mystery man called “R.C. Christian” and intended to be a source of wonder and curiosity, with key advice on how humankind can ascend into a new Age of Reason … perhaps after a foreseen nuclear Armageddon.

But soon after its official opening with a Chamber of Commerce led ribbon-cutting in March, 1980, it quickly became a source of spiritual consternation more than civic pride. A coven of area witches quickly adopted it as a home and started up mystical ceremonies at the site, which is some 90 miles northeast of Atlanta in an area rich with granite quarries and Evangelical Christians.

While the principal creator of the Stones and the author of its 10 timely pieces of advice for humankind remains purposefully anonymous to stir reason in our own thinking, the monument has spawned a poisonous mix of so-called New World Order conspiracy theorists, anxious to weave the mystery into their tangled and sticky fantasy web.

The main sticking point is number 1 of 10. Maintain a balance of population with resources for their support, ideally 500,000. Conspiracy theorists immediately pointed that remark toward global genocide overseen by a diabolical ‘dark cabal.’ It simply urges a few generations of birth control to make the balance.

Of course, conspiracy theories through the ages can and do fill books, but with real evidence rarely appearing. They quote each other a lot.

Many are hooked on conspiracy theories as a vocation. Instead of active concern with our real problems, environmental and societal, they focus on an imaginary Illuminati, a conglomeration of the rich and evil, whom they fear, and to whom they ironically are relinquishing their own power. Certainly, there is a rich elite but they aren’t a globally organized monolithic enemy. For the most part, the giant banks and corporations compete fiercely with themselves.

They are certainly not represented by the monument so graciously left for us by R.C. Christian and his small group of anonymous financiers. The truth of its origin should greatly reduce the danger of more ill-advised vandalism or destruction.

The creator himself, speaking as R.C. Christian, has likened it to the mysterious Stonehenge, intended to stir man’s ideas and imagination. Unlike Stonehenge, he included those 10 specific instructions and expressed the hope that other such monuments to a new Age of Reason would crop up elsewhere in the world.

My new friend, Greg Carpenter, is a member of a Facebook list intended to fight for preservation of the Stones. Some radical Christians have decreed that the stones should be blown to rubble since they are Satanic in origin. The monument was seriously defaced in 2008, damages which have yet to be fully repaired.

Carpenter notes that Elberton, GA, is strongly Protestant and rooted to the Bible.

“I think the messages are a clear roadmap to rebuilding society after an apocalypse, and the author clearly expected that to come,” said Carpenter. “The new world would be built on logic, reason, controlling unwanted births, and working toward everyone taking responsibility and getting a fair share of resources.”

The idea is that these changes won’t happen until after a catastrophic Apocalypse that greatly reduces the world’s over-population, perhaps by pandemic, more likely with nuclear war. In the early 80’s, cold war tensions with the Soviet Union were at a high pitch. Nuclear holocaust was a constant fear.

It would get worse after the Guidestones were unveiled in 1980. It turns out that the monument’s creator was so seriously concerned with the Soviet face-off that he wrote extensively about it in his late life memoirs.

Whether nuclear war would usher in apocalypse or whether it can be avoided, the Guidestones author focuses on the positive — balancing population with natural resources, with personal birth control encouraged or mandated by society in order to maintain a balance that provides a quality life for all — idealism not genocide. He advocated a global conference to create a more positive relationship, even a partnership, with the Soviet Union, built around his desired new Age of Reason for humankind.

Management of births and population also draws the discontent of biblical fundamentalists and their mythology of an anti-Christ who will appear to deceive the masses and wreak havoc on humankind. It also conflicts with their edict to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ more believers into the faith, whatever it is, Christian, Muslim or Jew. They generally advocate a high birth rate of their kind.

At any rate, the subjects of the Guidestones roused Christian fears, loathing and suspicions that are truly not related to the monument’s creation.

And if it does present a blueprint for a global government that embraces and cares for all people, that isn’t a foundation for an evil empire, unless you believe that all governments invariably go corrupt. The NWO conspiracy theorists only see the option for Orwellian evil and control and do not see much of the indwelling spirit of goodness in humankind. It will prevail as sure as God will prevail.

The truth behind the Guidestones is not fantasy. It is thoroughly within the academic world of universities, steeped in the scholarly world of genetics, heredity, and demographics, statistical fact-based population studies. There is nothing sinister about the origins. The author of the Guidestones had a long career as an editor, writer, and administrator in Washington, D.C.

Knowing his identity, said Carpenter, might bring some peace to the Elberton community and encourage them to be more serious in preserving this remarkable sculpture from another possible vandal attack.

When I linked the Stones to the author’s 1986 book, “Common Sense Renewed,” it all fell into place. The book, along with his biography and his extensive collection of papers at the Library of Congress, donated in 1983–86, and the American Genetics Association archives strongly mirrors the philosophies and ideas carved into the monument.

The memoir was published with limited copies after the Guidestones dedication in 1980 and prior to his death in 1991 in a Maryland nursing home. After his retirement in 1968, he was an active lecturer and traveler for more than 20 years, carrying his professional experiences from nearly 50 years in scientific publishing.

During that time, he assembled a small number of people who would help him finance the Stones as a lasting legacy of wisdom and an imploration to humankind to create and live in a new Age of Reason. He knew hundreds of prominent people in science and public affairs. Who were these men?

First, who is the creator?


ROBERT CARTER COOK: A Man for All Reason

Upon his death in 1991, the Washington Post published the following obituary, noting clearly that Cook’s credentials as a geneticist and demographer are sound, and that his memoir, Common Sense Renewed, should be respected.


By Bart Barnes, January 9, 1991

Robert C. Cook, 92, a demographer, geneticist and author who was among the first to warn of the dangers of human overpopulation, died of pneumonia Jan. 7 at Collington Retirement Community in Mitchellville.

Mr. Cook was editor of the American Genetic Association’s Journal of Heredity from 1922 until 1962, and in that capacity began to publish articles during the 1930s advocating birth control and warning that disastrous consequences would result from runaway population growth.

He was president of the Population Reference Bureau, a private nonprofit organization that collected and distributed information on population issues, from 1959 to 1968, and while serving there was a frequent witness before congressional committees on matters related to overpopulation.

His major work on the subject, “Human Fertility: The Modern Dilemma,” was published in 1951. “Next to the atom bomb, the most ominous force in the world today is uncontrolled fertility,” Mr. Cook argued in the book. He declared that “rampant fecundity has produced more hungry mouths than can be fed. The scramble for bare subsistence by hordes of hungry people is tearing the fertile earth from hillsides, destroying forests and plunging millions of human beings into utter misery.”

Improvements in modern medicine and public health measures, Mr. Cook noted, had brought about a substantial reduction in the death rate, while birth rates were holding at traditional levels, thus creating a rapid and ominous rise in worldwide population.

A native Washingtonian, Mr. Cook was the son of the noted botanist, Orator Fuller Cook, who believed his children could be best educated outside of the traditional school system. The younger Cook attended Sidwell Friends School for one year when he was 13, and had one year of premedical study at George Washington University, but then left during World War I to design airfoils at the National Bureau of Standards.

He became editor of the Journal of Heredity at the urging of Alexander Graham Bell and others, and during his early years there also served as executive officer of the American Genetic Association.

In this role he worked with several authors, including Julian Huxley, and helped shape the relatively young science of genetics. Mr. Cook’s warnings during the 1930s about the dangers of the explosive growth of the world population came at a time when many demographers were forecasting a downward trend in population growth.

He was author in 1939 of one of the first major articles to be published in a popular magazine, Collier’s, on the subject of overpopulation, “Bootleg Birth Control,” in which he advocated contraception “as a means to population balance.”

In that article Mr. Cook also advocated eugenics, calling for more births among the “groups of higher intelligence and better economic backgrounds,” and fewer from the “least intelligent, least trained and least capable groups,” a concept that fell into disfavor after the brutal excesses of the Nazis in Germany.

His warnings on population growth began to receive wide attention during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955 he was co-recipient of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation’s planned parenthood award for his “outstanding contribution to wider understanding of the world population problem.”

After retiring from the Population Reference Bureau in 1968, Mr. Cook continued to write and serve as a private consultant. He was a former lecturer in genetics at George Washington University Medical School and a member of the Population Association of America.

He also was a member of the Cosmos Club, and had donated a copy of “Human Fertility” to the club library with the inscription, “To the members of the Cosmos Club, to whom fertility has ceased to be a dilemma and has become an abstraction.”

His marriage to the former Margaret Brown ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Annabelle Desmond Cook of Mitchellville; a daughter of his first marriage, Victoria Sprenger of Charleston, W.Va.; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, and co-editor, Anabelle Desmond Cook; a daughter from a previous marriage, Victoria Sprenger of Charleston, W. Va.; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

So this is the overview of a distinguished career. Cook seemed always up to a challenge, as did his father, Orator Fuller Cook Jr., who was born in 1867, and noted as a botanist, entomologist and agronomist. He is known for coining the term ‘speciation’ to denote the process by which new species arise from existing ones.

O.F. Cook earned a B.A. degree at Syracuse University in 1890 and the following year became a special agent of the New York State Colonization Society. He worked in Liberia, and in 1896, was elected president of Liberia College. He held that position until 1898 when he joined the United States Department of Agriculture as a plant scientist, and eventually became Principal Botanist.

He traveled the world investigating crop species, specializing in cotton and rubber plants and the classification of palms, particularly the palms of Hispaniola. He published almost 400 books and articles during his career. He also studied myriapods (millipedes, centipedes and relatives), describing over 100 species and producing over 50 publications. In 1922, Cook and his colleague Harold Loomis described a species of millipede with more legs than any other organism on Earth: Illacme plenipes which possesses as many as 750 legs.

This was the year that his son, Robert Carter Cook, 24, settled into a longtime role as managing editor of the American Genetic Association’s Journal of Heredity.

His education at that time was varied — mostly from his prominent parents who believed in home schooling. Born in 1898, he was 17 when he entered George Washington University for a year of studies in medical genetics. But soon, in 1916, he became part of the World War I effort, working as a scientific aide to develop airfoils for the Bureau of Standards in Washington.

Then in 1919, he began two years of experience in teaching at the Tucson (AZ) Indian Training School. In 1921 he began two more years of studies at the University of Maryland.

As managing editor of the Journal of Heredity, he was second to (fill in). After 30 years, he was promoted to editor and served for 10 years in this position, until his retirement in 1962

For Cook, 1951 was a banner year. He became director of the Population Reference Bureau in Washington and editor of its Population Bulletin, until his retirement in 1968. He published “Human Fertility: The Modern Dilemma,” a highly successful volume that became a standard reference in the field. Herein, he presented ideas and insights which would inform his “Common Sense Renewed” book, published in 1986 and well into his retirement years.

Retirement in 1968 led to more than 20 years of activity as a consultant, speaker, author, and expert witness to Congress. He continued to champion the causes of birth and population management and a sensible balancing of people and resources as the potential catalyst for great improvements in both human lives and society.

So was R.C. Cook the same ‘R.C. Christian’ who ventured into Elberton, Georgia in 1979 with a scale model of his dream, a dramatic means to wake up the world to a new Age of Reason? We believe so.

Cook’s vision is an ideal world, where common sense controls breeding, and population is balanced with sustaining resources, where laws are efficient and make sense. Yes, it is a call for world government, not to be feared but to be pursued, and this immediately made it controversial.

Should it be? Should this man be knee-jerk charged with promoting genocide to get the population leveled. This is unthinkable. He was no champion of eugenics but reported on the subject extensively, by authors with academic credentials he never possessed. He expresses his sincere motives and his humility well in his preface to “Common Sense Renewed.”

(This volume continues and includes all of Common Sense Renewed by Robert Christian.)



James Wayne Cleveland

Jim Cleveland retired from a career in public relations to become a writer and publisher. He has 16 books and 12 CDs anchored in new spirituality values.