Item #: SCP-2221
Object Class: Keter
Special Containment Procedures: Websites believed to host instances of SCP-2221 are to be isolated for examination, and civilian users are to be blocked from such websites. A team of C-Class personnel are to maintain an ongoing search for websites and software that require the user to agree to an End User License Agreement, and thoroughly examine all such agreements for signs of SCP-2221.
Given the impossibility of containing all instances of 2221-A, field agents will instead focus on counteracting their effects. Agents should remain in contact with law enforcement agencies worldwide to monitor for sudden increases in extrajudicial violence. Agents are encouraged to share information about 2221-A affiliated groups with national security agencies in order to diminish their political and social impact. Foundation policies on political non-intervention have been temporarily waived in order to respond to this threat.
An instance of SCP-2221 is an End User License Agreement (EULA), of the sort commonly agreed to by consumers in order to use software. Instances of SCP-2221 are typically found attached to free or inexpensive software available over the internet. They are unusually long for EULAs, presumably to deter consumers from reading to the end. Near the end of the contract are three clauses believed to bring about distinct but related anomalous effects.
"You agree that all worship, prayer, obeisance, sacrifice, oaths, requests for guidance and/or intervention, and any other invocations of divinity directed at any deity or deities listed in Appendix H.vii will instead be directed at the Serene Tribune, Friend of the Righteous, hereafter referred to as 'Amicus.'1 Furthermore, you agree that this clause supersedes conscious intent with regard to the direction of the aforementioned invocations of divinity."
"You agree that Friends of Amicus LLC2 may access your consciousness for the purpose of exerting subconscious influence and/or temporary control of consciousness for a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours during any one-week period."
"You and Friends of Amicus LLC agree that any attempt to breach or modify the terms of this agreement, or to bring suit against Friends of Amicus LLC, must be settled by arbitration in the Serene Tribunal."3
Testing suggests that SCP-2221 is not an infohazard— reading or looking at instances of SCP-2221 has no effect if the reader does not agree to the contract. It is extremely unlikely that such a contract would be legally enforceable in any known judicial system. However, it is believed that the effects of SCP-2221 result from the enforcement of the terms of this contract by unknown parties.
Certain classes of individuals (including mentally incapable individuals, pre-pubescent children, and slaves) are unaffected even if they agree, presumably because they lack legal capacity to agree to a contract. Individuals incapable of understanding the contract (such as those who cannot speak the language in which it is written, or sleeping persons made to press the button to agree to the contract) are also unaffected. These limitations have proven extremely disruptive to attempts to study SCP-2221: the contract's effects do not extend to D-Class personnel, who apparently lack legal capacity with whatever entity is enforcing the contract.
SCP-2221's lack of effect on D-Class personnel makes direct experimentation difficult, but the Foundation has performed extensive analysis on populations believed to be affected by SCP-2221. Individuals are assumed to be instances of 2221-A if they have created an account on a website or downloaded software known to host an instance of SCP-2221. The following behavioral changes have been observed in 2221-As and populations with large numbers of 2221-As:
- Greatly increased voter turnout and political activism. Instances of 2221-A in non-democratic or semi-democratic countries often affiliate themselves with protest movements or other subversive political organizations. Instances of 2221-A seem particularly drawn to positions considered outside the political mainstream, including parties associated with both the far-right and far-left.
- Greatly increased interest in religion and issues of religious identity. Attendance of religious services is notably high in areas with large 2221-A populations. Instances of 2221-A in Muslim countries often affiliate themselves with Islamist movements, while instances in the United States may advocate for an increased role for Christianity in public life.
- Shifts in religious practices. Community punishment for deviating from religious law, often in the form of shaming, is common in 2221-A dominated areas. Religious art from these communities incorporates nooses or patterns resembling nooses with unusual frequency. For example, Christian art tends to depict Jesus being hung rather than crucified, while Hindu art often focuses on Yama hanging criminals. Despite Clause 189's reference to the worship of "Amicus," instances of SCP-2221 are not typically observed worshipping a being of that name (the one exception, POP-044-2221-A, is discussed below).
- Frequent extrajudicial violence against alleged criminals.
2221-A populations tend to be densely clustered, so while some communities are entirely composed of 2221-As it is rare for affected nations to have an 2221-A population of over .05%. The most notable exception is POP-044-2221-A in █████, which until 2013 constituted over 2% of the national population.
|Events Concerning POP-044-2221-A|
In October 2012, Site 614 contacts the O5 Council to report armed mobs attacking Foundation installations in █████. It is immediately apparent that these groups have inside information concerning the Foundation: they demand that the Foundation hand over SCP-███, SCP-████, SCP-████, SCP-████, and 34 Foundation personnel to be put on trial.
The October attacks on Site 614 are initially attributed to the Republic of Letters, which quickly claims responsibility for leaking information leading to the attacks. At this point, the Foundation is not aware of any major 2221-A populations in █████, and the Republic of Letters' claims are believed.
However, examination of computers at Site 614 reveals that many personnel have been using software hosting an instance of SCP-2221. Consensus within the Foundation shifts to the belief that the leaked information came from Foundation personnel, having been subverted by the Friends of Amicus. It remains unknown whether the failure to find and report this instance of SCP-2221 was due to negligence or deliberate sabotage.
Site 614 personnel are detained for examination. Field agents from Site 115 and Site 621 are sent to █████ under the command of Site Director Susan Pritchard to observe and report on the local 2221-A population, POP-044-2221-A. Due to ongoing political turmoil in the area, the Foundation adopts a strictly defensive stance, repelling continued attacks on Foundation installations without responding in kind.
Attacks against local prisons are also noted. While local security forces repel most of these attacks, prisons in ██████ and ████████████ are overrun by mobs. Prisoners at both locations are dragged outside and lynched, including prisoners who have only committed minor crimes such as vandalism.
Over the course of the next four months, changes in the religious practices of the local Sunni Muslim majority are observed. Many local mosques begin announcing the call to prayer eight times per day instead of the traditional five. Decorative nooses are observed hanging in doorways, often adorned with colorful cloth in elaborate patterns. Several imams believed to be instances of 2221-A are noted to add an additional prophet, "Sadiq," to the traditional Islamic list of prophets.4 When pressed for additional information on Sadiq, these imams are confused, and deny knowledge of Sadiq.
By April 2013, affected communities have begun sounding the call to prayer up to thirty times per day. With little time left for other activities, attacks on Foundation installations cease. POP-044-2221-A distributes print versions of SCP-2221, thereby converting nearly all adult members of affected communities into instances of 2221-A. With the Foundation no longer on the defensive, field agents begin to quarantine towns inhabited by POP-044-2221-A, and unaffected civilians are evacuated into Foundation custody.
The frequency of 2221-A calls to prayer continues to increase until prayer has become constant among the entirety of POP-044-2221-A. Between May 24 and June 6, every known member of POP-044-2221-A expires of exhaustion and dehydration. The government of █████ cooperates with the Foundation in attributing these deaths to political violence.
Field agents recommend waiving the Foundation's policy on political non-intervention in order to prevent similar occurrences elsewhere.
Addendum 2221-i: Recently discovered instances of SCP-2221 have an addition to Clause 217: "By reading this clause, members of any organizations listed in Appendix K.iv agree to go fuck themselves." The SCP Foundation was one of the organizations listed, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Republic of Letters, and several other groups of interest and governmental organizations. Personnel who had read Clause 217 were isolated and kept under examination. The addition had no discernible effect, least of all a literal one. It is believed that Clause 217 is merely a taunt, rather than an infohazard or legally binding addition to the document. However, supervisors are to make weekly reports on the behavior of Foundation personnel who have read modified versions of Clause 217.