Item #: SCP-592
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-592 should be contained in research cell 1611-E at all times, locked in a steel box, in the middle of a frosted glass containment cubicle. Also in the cubicle are a table, two (2) computers, a standard-sized computer scanner, an internal network connection port, and two (2) pairs of visual distortion goggles, which must be worn upon entering the cubicle, so as to make SCP-592 illegible. The first computer serves as an analysis machine, the second as a custom firewall. All devices have been modified with specialised software and hardware (see Testing Protocol for details) and the network port has been secured such that no device other than the firewall may use it. It is strictly necessary that the computers and scanner are turned off and unplugged after experimenting and that they are only powered for the duration of the experiment. The front and back covers of SCP-592 are to be covered in black opaque tape at all times.
The cell must be guarded continually to ensure that SCP-592 is not removed.
Description: SCP-592 is a large hardcover book which exhibits no external qualities that could be considered unusual, but which can cause delusions, psychosis, changes in physical health and appearance, or even severe wounding when read. It is titled "Chronicle of the 20th Century" and consists of 450 all-color printed pages. It is reported that it has a printed cover (no dust jacket) with the title of the book, the publisher, and a selection of illustrations from within the text. The original cover is a deep blue. The spine contains the title and publisher name, and is left uncovered by tape. The cover page informs the reader that it was published by Interworld Press, 54 ███████ St, Chicago, IL in 1996. A company named Interworld Press has never been registered in the US nor does the street listed exist.
The text is a collection of newspaper clippings and short articles on major events from January 1900 to December 1995. Much of the first half of the text agrees with recorded events but at some point no later than 15 June 1956, a date researchers have termed the Point of Divergence (PoD), the text begins to diverge from known history. These divergences become more common and acute the further away from the PoD the text is.
Subjects reading from the text before the PoD report no ill effect and generally comment that the text is well written and seems very accurately researched. Subjects reading from the book after the PoD understand the passage read as accepted truth, and vehemently deny any suggestions that the text is in fact incorrect. The claims subjects make are often disturbing or shocking in nature. It also appears that a subject that has read passages from a certain year can recount events that are detailed in later sections of the book.
It has been found that those born before the date which the test passage indicates, and lived in or nearby the location of the event described, may construct personal experiences built around the event and describe them as they would any other vivid memory. The subject will go to great measures to defend the reality of their story, often turning violent if under interrogation.
Exposure to SCP-592 may alter physical characteristics of the subject to conform with the events of the passage being read. This can vary from small changes in appearance or clothing to the infliction of severe wounds. For example, in one instance a subject (D-94920) produced a scar during an interview, stating that he "picked it up during the [DATA EXPUNGED]". His widow, when presented with the scar, located on his █████, was surprised, stating she "had not noticed [the scar] before".
It has been found that once the subject discovers that the world is inconsistent with their acquired memories, they begin to feel that the present reality is an illusion, a dream, or a deceit, often stating malevolent or government forces are at work in maintaining the illusion. Subjects who reach this stage enter into a profound and chronic psychosis. All attempts to treat this delusion have failed. The exact effects vary:
|Date of passage read||Effects|
|Before PoD||No ill short- or long-term effects|
|< 2 months after PoD||Short-term: confusion. No ill long-term effects.|
|< 2 years after PoD||Short-term: confusion. Long-term: minor mental illness, development of tics, nightmares, minor paranoia episodes and panic attacks|
|< 10 years after PoD||Short-term: confusion, violent episodes. Long-term: deeply ingrained delusion formed leading to debilitating paranoia, psychosis, and schizophrenia-type disorders.|
|> 10 years after PoD, or earlier if subject forms a "personal experience"||Short-term: confusion, violent episodes. Long term: acute psychosis and delusions. Crippling agnosia. Becomes withdrawn. High chance of suicidal or homicidal behavior. Severe risk of immediate but variable physical change in subject.|
SCP-592 was recovered during a narcotics raid in August 2006 on the property of Mr. [REDACTED], the leader of a controversial religious group called the "Church of the True History". Despite being in possession of SCP-592, Mr. [REDACTED] is believed to have started the church for financial gain rather than revelation. The owner may have only survived exposure from SCP-592 for almost two years because of his rampant drug use, which included methamphetamine, cocaine, and a host of opioids - though psychedelics, especially DMT, are known to have been used and probably interacted with the effects of SCP-592 more than the others. [REDACTED] believed that his delusions came from his drug use, but noted that a year after exposure to SCP-592, he found himself turning to drugs more often to "hide away from the truth". In custody and deprived of his usual chemical relief, the suspect became comatose and died a week later. The circumstances of the acquisition has led to proposals to test SCP-592 in combination with psychedelic drugs (see Proposal ████-█).
Addendum 592-a: The chemical properties of SCP-592 have been studied by Dr. Grayson and the Chemical Forensics team. Dr. Grayson reports that:
Samples were obtained by means of cutting small squares of paper from the book, while wearing distortion goggles. The squares were small enough to contain no more than one word. Squares containing portions of illustrations were covered by black opaque tape as soon as extracted. Our results indicate that the chemical properties of SCP-592 differ very little from any other color publication. The paper primarily consists of cellulose from common woods, and the black and yellow inks are standard. It has been found, however, that some chemicals used in the cyan and magenta inks, while entirely known to science, are not normally used in the industry. An expert in inks and dyes has commented that the chemicals would be an inferior but acceptable substitute to those currently in use if certain metal elements were much scarcer, and therefore much more expensive, than they are today.
SCP-592 is under no circumstances to be read by a human unless that person is a subject of an authorised test.
SCP-592 is only to be analysed by computer, using the systems provided. The book is to be scanned on a per-page basis using the scanner provided. The scanned image is then sent to the analysis machine. The scanner and other devices are modified such that they can be used while wearing the visual distortion goggles (Note: researchers must pass Training Course 305-S: Intermediate Braille and Training Course 10-E: Use of SCP Imaging Software before being approved to test SCP-592).
The analysis machine is modified such that it contains and supports no non-volatile (permanent) writable storage devices, such that it never stores a copy of the scanned image that may persist beyond the analysis phase. The image is destroyed from the system RAM as soon as is possible, through standard secure memory flushing routines.
The firewall is configured to study incoming packets for characteristics of properly processed output and destroys the packet if an insufficient amount of characteristics are discovered. This prevents the transmission of text or images that have not been sufficiently obfuscated.
As SCP-592 is heavily illustrated there are two analysis protocols:
Analysis of text: The analysis machine uses industry-standard Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems to parse the text in the image, and then destroys the image. The text file is then passed through a series of custom Natural Language Processing (NLP) routines to summarise the text. The original text file is then destroyed, and the summary is sent to the secure Foundation Intranet.
The NLP routines analyse the passage using statistical methods incorporating databases of diverse English corpora, some details of other SCPs, a correct chronology of events extracted from various texts, and a severely limited referential network of other entries in SCP-592. NOTE: Efforts to increase the degree in which analysis references other events resulted in an incident whereby [DATA EXPUNGED], resulting in 3 researchers being euthanized (see Document SCP-592-███).
The summary is composed in such a way as to mitigate any possibility of exposure to the true material of the passage, but still provide useful analytical details about the event described. An example (SCP-592-SUMM090777-A):
Note: Lexical tokens from source databases are presented in all-caps.
Date: 7th September 1977
Location: Southern United States (99% certainty). States: █████████ (79%), █████ ████████ (11%), or ███████ (9% certainty)
Type: NEWSPAPER CLIPPING
The passage is describing HUMAN CONFLICT. The HUMAN CONFLICT is of an IDEOLOGICAL or RELIGIOUS nature. The passage seems (56%) to be LAMENTING in tone. The passage contains the numbers 2000, 1977, and 16. A relation to EVENT SUMM010777-C and EVENT [REDACTED] is likely (78% certainty).
It is certain (98%) that the passage contains a reference to both SCP-███ and SCP-███.
Related incidents: Incident 592-██: "Loss of a limb following exposure to SCP-592 article on war"
Analysis of images: SCP-592 contains around two hundred illustrations. These are cropped from the scanned image as part of the OCR routine. The image is then subjected to a number of Fourier transforms and convolutions to obscure the resulting output from human recognition while simultaneously analysing its structure and providing a summary of its contents by statistical analysis. Record of the original image is then destroyed. An example report (SCP-592-IMG098):
Date: 1st April 1963
Location: Unknown BEDROOM with WESTERN FURNISHINGS.
Type: FULL COLOR PHOTOGRAPH
The image contains two (2) ADULT PERSONS standing, one (1) HUMAN CHILD sitting on a CHAIR or STOOL, and SCP-███. With 100% certainty the PERSONS in the image should have FACIAL FEATURES. With 100% certainty the PERSONS in the image do NOT have FACIAL FEATURES.