The Bad Librarian

Maine neo-Nazi trying to monetize huge collection of hate speech

A recent screenshot of James’ profile page on the far-right social-media site Gab.

Russell James, a 51-year-old Holocaust denier, lives year-round in a 35-foot camper on a scraggly acre in the Down East town of Machias. James is the creator and curator of the largest archive of white supremacist e-books on the World Wide Web. Called the Colchester Collection, his library of hate currently includes nearly 1,400 titles. The collection also functions as an Amazon affiliate, allowing James to profit from any sales generated by customers who reach Amazon via his links. In early March, James announced plans to further monetize his bigotry by selling display ads inside the collection’s most popular downloads.

His first ad-buying customers include former Jackman town manager Tom Kawczynski and his pal Billy Roper, a neo-Nazi troll from Tennessee who’s developed a national reputation for his virulently racist views. Also purchasing ads is a group called Women for Aryan Unity that supports imprisoned members of The Order, the white supremacist, bank-robbing gang responsible for the 1984 murder of talk show host Alan Berg, whose assassination influenced Oliver Stone’s 1988 film Talk Radio. Another founding sponsor is called Aryan Graphics [sic] Designs, which specializes in “Pro White” design work.

James, who identifies as a “proud Aryan,” intended to name the new e-book advertising venture Aryan Advantage Advertising Network, but his board of consultants (which includes the aforementioned Kawczynski and Roper) advised against that. Instead, the company is called Allright Alliance Advertising Network. Ad rates range from $15 to $35, and James estimates that each ad will receive “approximately 25,000 views.” He claims to have identified “roughly 600” organizations potentially interested in joining a “pro-White advertising network,” according to a recent interview published on amerika.org.

James, who declined to answer my questions about his plans and views, is certainly dedicated to the cause. Over the past eight years he’s spent up to 20 hours a week cutting, pasting and uploading the text of racist books to the Internet. His massive collection is organized into two dozen sections, with categories such as “White Identity,” “Secret Societies,” “Nationalism,” “Men’s Rights,” “Jewishness,” and “‘Holocaust,’” a term he invariably brackets in quotation marks.

An examination of James’ social-media and message-board posts, blogs and podcast interviews reveals a man obsessed with Holocaust denial. He shares links to sites questioning the veracity of the six million murders on an almost daily basis. His Holocaust section contains 38 e-book titles, starting with Anne Frank’s Diary, a Hoaxand ending with Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?Only a handful of these books are still available as print editions on Amazon, which began removing Holocaust-denial titles in 2017 in response to public criticism and negative press. In many cases, the offending book listings were deleted and replaced by Amazon with photos of cute dogs.

Yet the Colchester Collection continues to provide free PDFs and links to the online versions of Holocaust-denial books, along with the rest of its white supremacist titles, many of which are still sold in print editions on Amazon. James is an e-book publisher of “classic” works now in the public domain, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Henry Ford’s The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, George Lincoln Rockwell’s The Nationalist Perspective, and English-language versions of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, as well as the clunkily titled Hitler’s Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf.

James isn’t getting rich from his labor of hate. He told an interviewer that his supporters probably buy two or three hundred dollars’ worth of books from Amazon per month, netting him an average of $10 every 30 days. That may be why he recently branched out into video, creating the Talie-vision channel on BitChute (the preferred video site of neo-Nazis banned from YouTube). Named for a mythological Welshman who, according to James, battled witches, his channel features archival interviews with famous racists of the past, like World Church of the Creator founder Ben Klassen and Richard Butler, founder of Aryan Nations. The channel also broadcasts Holocaust-denial drivel and Hitler-fan vids like the seven-part “Greatest Story Never Told.”

In the “about the author” entry James wrote for Hitler, he claims that “much of what is said about him is fabricated or distorted. He appears to have been a good man from a solid, lower class background. He loved his family, his church and his people. … His main character flaw seems to have been that he was too good and that he perceived others to be fundamentally decent.”

James, who claims to have graduated from UCLA with a degree in English literature, fancies himself a wordsmith. In recent years he’s been imploring his racist brethren to embrace his “Real Mantra” for Aryans, hoping his pledge can replace the “Fourteen Words” slogan currently recited by neo-Nazis. But James’ 36-word oath doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue: “White men are the rightful rulers of White nations, the rightful leaders of our institutions, and the rightful head of our families. Anyone who says otherwise is a genocidal maniac who mustbe brought to justice.”

He’s also a prolific blogger, though he recently removed his racist blog from Blogger — citing the supposed left-wing bias of the popular platform’s owner, Google — and moved its posts to the neo-Nazi message board Stormfront. A longtime dues-paying member of Stormfront, James attends Stormfront conferences and other Nazi conventions on a regular basis.

Born and raised in Salisbury, Massachusetts, James started to actively promote his racist beliefs in 2008 after moving back east, to southern New Hampshire, following a decade and a half on the West Coast. He has a history of promoting schemes to finance white-power activism, such as Local 1488, an online store “owned and operated by good white people.”

“If Whites are to make any inroads into the depredations against us, we must develop a market-place that is outside of the control of the Jews and their collaborators,” James wrote in a blog post promoting the shop, the name of which is code-speak for Nazism.

In 2010, James was involved with the now-defunct New England White Pride group, through which he and his associates attempted to publish a newsletter with the support of “pro-white businesses” in the Boston area. Around the same time, James claimed to have been arrested on the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse while protesting the re-election of that state’s first black governor, Deval Patrick. A year later, he and his posse made the news again after one of their public membership meetings at the Worcester Public Library was disrupted by masked members of Antifa swinging bike locks and punching Nazis.

In 2013, James moved to Machias and continued to work “in computers” as a “tech writer” while learning homesteading skills. In 2015, he bought an acre of land for $6,900 and set up his camper a mile from the shores of Yoho Creek, where he currently lives, alone and off the grid.

In addition to his online activism, James is trying to spread racist hate face-to-face in Maine. Last year, he was one of the four people who attended former town manager Kawczynski’s organizational meeting for the now-abandoned New Albion white-ethnostate project [see “Crashing the Nazi’s Dinner Party,” March 2018]. He’s also been trying to radicalize male students he’s met while working out at the University of Maine at Machias gym. James recently complained to a podcast interviewer that the UMM fellas are more interested in sex and women than in theories of white genocide or a fake Holocaust.

That must be a real bummer for James, who’s said he created the online Colchester Collection specifically to reach the next generation of neo-Nazis. Toward that end, he’s adding more educational titles written for homeschooled kids and their parents, and he continues to promote the Collection’s listicle: “101 Books Every White Man Should Read.”

James recently told a podcast host that he’s too busy these days to read the white-power books he recommends. Instead, he just skims the synopses. He admits to having read only “five or six” of the 101 titles on his list. “You get to a certain point where reading is for younger people,” he told the podcaster. “I don’t need to read anymore. I can see the world around me. I can see how it works.”