Student Claims To Discover “Fake Book” With Alt-Right Materials In Columbia University Library

Tasneem Nashrulla, Buzzfeed, December 14, 2016

Columbia University, in New York City, is investigating a report of a “fake book” found in a campus library that appears to be associated with the neoreactionary or “Dark Enlightenment” movement.

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A student worker at the university’s Butler Library claimed to find the fake book in one of the shelves that appeared to contain symbols and forms associated with the Dark Enlightenment movement, which rejects democracy and egalitarianism and “focuses on the fundamentally flawed tenets of modern western culture,” according to a subreddit dedicated to the movement.

The discovery of the book was first published on Monday night by BWOG, Columbia’s student-run campus news site.

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Following the BWOG report, several student groups, including Columbia Against Trump, wrote an oped in the Columbia Spectator calling for the administration to “take every possible step to address the source of this racist material and to further investigate whether a white supremacist group has a presence on our campus, and if so, take bold and immediate action to eradicate it.”

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The student told BuzzFeed News, “I don’t know if this is ultimately a hoax.”

The university said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News: “We are aware of the student blog report about a hollowed-out book discovered in Butler Library containing disturbing materials,” adding, “We are investigating the matter, but at this point cannot confirm the published account.”

The student who claimed to have discovered the book told BuzzFeed News that he was stacking shelves at Butler Library on Friday when he “noticed this book that didn’t quite look like a book.”

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The book’s title claimed it was the novel, Tess of The D’Urbervilles, and the student said it was in the section with books such as The Dark Side of Nation States and The World Revolution of Westernization.

The student said that when he opened the hollowed-out book, he found about five manila envelopes containing forms with an eagle design on the front that resembled Germany’s coat of arms, or the “Federal Eagle.”

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The forms in the manila envelopes asked users to list their availability, choose objectives such as “spread messaging” and “brotherhood,” and list their interested topics from options including “post-democracy, nationalism, Alternative Right, Cultural Marxism” and Dark Enlightenment terms such as “HBD” and “The Cathedral.”

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He said that he did not report the book to university officials because it wasn’t a hate crime or vandalism. “It’s not a hate crime right off the bat,” the student said. “But it’s kind of weird and disturbing, these terms are not good things.”

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