LEITH, N.D. — When an outsider moves into a town of fewer than 25 people, residents tend to take notice. And when the newcomer begins buying up property to transform the town into an all-inclusive resort, travelers would be wise to read the fine print before making reservations.
As originally reported by The Bismarck Tribune, Paul Craig Cobb, 61, purchased his two-story clapboard house, as well as a dozen plots of land around Leith, with the intention of transferring or selling much of the land to like-minded white supremacists recruited through Craigslist and white power message boards.
Alex Linder, a neo-Nazi running the online Vanguard News Network, and Tom Metzger, former grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in California, were among the first to claim places in what Cobb bills as an all-white enclave named “Cobbsville,” where “responsible hard core” residents are free to fly “racialist” banners without “leftist journalists or antis” who insist on “promoting diversity, which can only lead to division and disunity.”
Both Linder and Metzger are reasonably happy with their accommodations, which feature plenty of arable land, antique wicker furniture, and decorative Nazi memorabilia. Yet, they are dissatisfied with what they claim are unanticipated caveats to the retreat’s otherwise “all-inclusive” policy.
“I was shocked to learn that only non-alcoholic beverages were included with my stay,” said Linder. “Cobb knows I needs [sic] constant and unfettered access to my Jack [Daniel’s whiskey]. Without it, I start to get crazy ideas…ideas like maybe more inclusiveness is the answer, not less—both here in Leith and around the world,” he mumbled between sips of bourbon from a jam jar (added cost: $8.50).
Metzger decided to make public his disapproval of the restrictive policies he says make him feel unwelcome in a place he is legally permitted to stay. “Yeah,” said Metzger, “I was the one to set that sun umbrella on fire in Cobb’s backyard. Now he’ll think twice before charging me extra for a margarita at the swimming hole.”
The sheriff of Leith attempted to calm worried citizens, including the town’s lone black resident, noting that while Cobb is wanted in Canada on charges of promoting hatred, he has no history of inciting violence. But it is his lack of a septic tank and running water that may allow the city council to force Cobb out of Leith for violating health codes. Failing that, the council has formulated a backup plan to immediately dissolve the town should Cobb and his associates gain a majority vote.