Are the monoliths part of a marketing scheme?

The appearance, disappearance, and reappearance of the triangular steel monoliths that began in one site in Utah and spread to other places and initially seemed like it was people just having fun has taken a slightly darker turn in California where another one had been erected on top of a mountain.

A group of young men claiming to be Christians have posted a video of themselves tearing down a mysterious monolith that had appeared atop a California mountain and replacing it with a cross.

The monolith had been built near the town of Atascadero and sparked huge interest after the appearance of a similar silvery metal-faced monolith that had been discovered in the deserts of Utah.

That original monolith – which attracted hundreds of curious sightseers and garnered headlines worldwide – was also destroyed by visitors who were captured taking it down and carrying it away by an observer’s mobile phone video.

Now the Atascadero monolith has met a similar kind of fate, according to a report in the San Luis Obispo Tribune newspaper.

In a video, which was livestreamed and posted online, the group of young men drive from southern California to tear down the structure. Under cover of darkness, they hike up to the structure and tear it down while chanting “Christ is king!”. They then erect a homemade wooden cross in its place and drag the remains of the monolith down the mountain to their car.

During the video, the men also make offensive comments and drink substantial quantities of energy drinks, while also referencing Donald Trump and the QAnon conspiracy theory and their mission is to demonstrate “how much we love Jesus Christ”.

No, it does not show how much you love Jesus. It shows that you have no sense of fun or playfulness.

So what is with these monoliths? Are they all being done by groups working independently of one another or is there a single group behind all of them? Someone suggested that it may be part of a marketing scheme designed to spark interest before the product is finally revealed.

That sounds plausible.


  1. johnson catman says

    No, it does not show how much you love Jesus. It shows that you have no sense of fun or playfulness.

    Sounds like they are typical asshole christians who are perfectly fine forcing their views onto everyone else.

  2. DonDueed says

    Reportedly, the Utah monolith had been in place since 2016, but was only discovered this year. So if it’s a marketing campaign they’re playing a mighty long game.

  3. Dunc says

    @2: Maybe somebody’s decided to piggyback a marketing scheme on the discovery of the original monolith.

  4. flex says

    Yeah, copycats.

    If you are going to copy something, at least make a few changes. Like putting up 6 smaller ones in a hexagon pattern or tilt it so it points to the same geosynchronous orbit position of the first one.

    Have some fun with it! At least the guys making crop circles, and their copycats, didn’t stick to the same boring pattern.

  5. ashton says

    the whole thing seems fake as hell
    even the christians taking it down seemed fake, having been in those circles in the past myself i know thats not how they talk at all. its gotta be a ploy or a psyop or something.

  6. Owlmirror says

    The Utah Bureau of Land Management posted some pictures of the object, but also
    pointed out that the installation was illegal.

    It’s all very well to say that the prism ¹ wasn’t harming anything, but once it became known, it also became an attractive nuisance. Citing from the second press release”

    Visitors who flocked to the site parked on vegetation and left behind human waste as evidence of their visit. The undeveloped area does not have restrooms or a parking lot. The BLM recommends that visitors not attempt to visit the site, which has no cell service and requires high clearance vehicles; passenger vehicles have already been towed from the area.

    rossbernards posted on instagram about seeing the removal of the prism:

    “Four guys rounded the corner and 2 of them walked forward. They gave a couple of pushes on the monolith and one of them said ‘You better have got your pictures’. He then gave it a big push, and it went over, leaning to one side. He yelled back to his other friends that they didn’t need the tools. The other guy with him at the monolith then said ‘this is why you don’t leave trash in the desert’. Then all four of them came up and pushed it almost to the ground on one side, before they decided push it back the other when it then popped out and landed on the ground with a loud bang. They quickly broke it apart and as they were carrying to the wheelbarrow that they had brought one of them looked back at us all and said ‘Leave no trace’. That was at 8:48.”

    Bernards then concluded: “If you’re asking why we didn’t stop them well, they were right to take it out. We stayed the night and the next day hiked to a hill top overlooking the area where we saw at least 70 different cars (and a plane) in and out. Cars parking everywhere in the delicate desert landscape. Nobody following a path or each other. We could literally see people trying to approach it from every direction to try and reach it, permanently altering the untouched landscape. Mother Nature is an artist, it’s best to leave the art in the wild to her.”

    As for the California prism, well, it’s been a while since I did any sort of hiking up mountains, but the last time I did, I noticed signs encouraging visitors to remain on the paths and trails, explaining that high-altitude trees have very shallow root systems, and people trampling all over the place can do a lot of damage. No doubt the assholes who removed the thing neither knew nor cared about montane ecosystems, but perhaps they inadvertently did what they did for the best. While I assume that the cross they left will be less of an attractive nuisance, I hope it gets removed as well.

    1: In a fit of prescriptivist mulishness, I express reluctance to call something that is entirely made of metal and not rock a “monolith“.

  7. says

    @6, ashton
    Really? I’ve been adjacent to far-right Christian circles and that behavior sounds reasonable to me. I will note, though, I’m going off of the description. I didn’t watch the video itself. I grant I may come to a different conclusion if I were to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *