On Stack 12 of Butler Libraries in Columbia U, one of the student workers found a copy of Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy that seemed normal at first. But the worker realized that there was something wrong with the book.
This is when the mystery starts. Inside was a stack of manila envelopes holding pamphlets that were sign-up sheets of some sort. It included parts regarding availability, objectives, and interest in leadership positions. Seems harmless enough.
The first giveaway something was not right was on the cover of the pamphlet. It had an eagle that has a design eerily similar to those of the eagle symbol used by the Nazis. According to the BWOG article, the eagle design also had ties to fascist ideas.
When you examine the "Topics Interested In" part of the question, you don't get sports or music. There are options like nationalism, post-democracy, HBD, cultural marxism and the alternative right among others. On the back of the pamphlet is one phrase, "DarkEn," on the bottom.
DarkEn is short for Dark Enlightenment, also known as the neo-reactionary movement. It is a far-right movement that "advocates an autocratic and neo-monarchical society." The ideas are considered neo-fascist and anti-democratic. The HBD from the pamphlet, which stands for human biodiversity, is a neo-reactionary cover for racist ideals.
This is not the first time that Columbia has dealt with DarkEn/neoreactionary stunts. Earlier in 2016 there were reports of posters in the bathrooms throughout the Columbia campus for The Dark Enlightenment Club. They wanted to encourage students to join the group via an encrypted messaging site.
The group has contacted The Daily Beast, stating that they placed the book at the beginning of the semester in the hope of adding more to their movement. While they proved a connection to a Dark Enlightenment forum, they did not disclose the number of members in their group.
The Columbia blog's staff said that they are "concerned that this group has any form of presence on Columbia's campus," and said they will investigate it further. They also state that do not agree with the ideas of the movement.