Item #: SCP-898
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: Information pertaining to the creation and application of SCP-898 is restricted to Foundation personnel with level 3 clearance or higher. Experimentation with SCP-898 may only be conducted with the approval of a majority of the Overseer council.
Description: SCP-898 is a memetic disorder specifically created by Foundation researchers for the purpose of serving as a defense mechanism against other memetic or mind-affecting attacks. Its development was undertaken as part of Operation Azure Skies in 1992. The objective of Azure Skies was to design and employ a variety of devices to protect Foundation personnel in the field from supernatural threats that conventional technologies were not sufficient to guard against. SCP-898 specifically was created over the course of three (3) years of study and experimentation, taking information from analyses of already known memetic SCPs to drive a gestalt Research and Development program. The SCP-898 project was overseen by Dr. Grienko during its run, until its official cancellation on December 22nd, 1995.
The conclusion Dr. Grienko and his subordinates reached was that, since any memetic compulsion, by definition, involves the inspiration of an idea in the target's mind, the most obvious defense mechanism was another type of inspiration, preferably one that would create a more powerful compulsion and override the first meme. To that end, Grienko proposed that a simple, biologically-motivated catalyst might be the solution. According to the theory he developed, when a subject's mind that had already been infected by SCP-898 detected a potential memetic invasion, SCP-898 would automatically stimulate the subject's sympathetic ganglion to flood the subject's system with adrenaline and provoke a fight-or-flight response. The subject would then dismiss the invading meme in the process of either initiating an attack or in fleeing from the meme's effective range.
The method for detecting invading memes revolved around tracking sudden changes in the subject's limbic system. A common trend Grienko and his team had observed among memetic viruses known to the Foundation was that nearly all of them stimulated an unusually high amount of activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, and so SCP-898 was designed to activate in response to this stimulation, or if the subject became consciously aware of a memetic attack (which would frequently start off orbitofrontal cortex activity as well). In order to ensure that SCP-898 would provide adequate protection against all types of memes, Grienko opted to form the core of his counter-meme around all five senses. SCP-898 at its completion would include auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile, and taste-based elements.
- Auditory Components- [DATA EXPUNGED]
- Visual Components- [DATA EXPUNGED]
- Olfactory Components- [DATA EXPUNGED]
- Tactile Components- [DATA EXPUNGED]
- Taste Components- [DATA EXPUNGED]
- Meme Inception Process Summary- [DATA EXPUNGED]
Addendum (1/17/1995): After the inception is completed, a Class A amnesiac must be administered in order to prevent "looping," "auto-activation," and related phenomena (see Incident Reports 898-14 through 898-20). -Dr. Grienko
Refer to documents [DATA EXPUNGED] for more details.
Incident Report 898-14
On September 22nd, 1994, the first complete "draft" of SCP-898 was administered to thirty (30) D-class subjects, who were then locked into Secure Chamber #34 in Site-12. A loudspeaker installed in the room began to play a recording of SCP-444 after all the subjects were safely locked behind the soundproof doors. Twelve (12) subjects attempted to break down the doors (presumably in order to escape), ten (10) fled to corners of the room and huddled in them, covering their ears, and eight (8) rushed to the speaker and attempted to tear it out of the wall. After some minutes, the latter subjects were successful, but they continued to show signs of extreme agitation after the recording was silenced. The subjects began to attack each other approximately eight (8) minutes later. When the doors were unsealed and security teams entered thirty (30) minutes after, a majority of the subjects were either dead or in critical condition and the survivors had to be neutralized.
Incident Report 898-15
On October 1st, 1994, the second complete "draft" (modifications are detailed in [DATA EXPUNGED]) of SCP-898 was administered to thirty (30) D-class subjects, who were then locked into Secure Chamber #34 in Site-12. Once again, a loudspeaker installed in the room began to play a recording of SCP-444 after all the subjects were safely locked behind the soundproof doors. The subjects displayed very similar behavior to that described in Incident Report 898-14 initially, but their agitation appeared to cease after Dr. Dahl, the technician overseeing the experiment, shut off the recording himself. Unaware that the microphone in his observation booth was turned on, he said aloud, "Well, it looks like the counter-meme worked right this time". Some of the D-class subjects who were near the loudspeaker apparently heard this, as they began to show signs of agitation and proceeded to fight amongst themselves or run from each other, starting a riot that eventually encompassed all of the subjects. Security teams had to neutralize several of the subjects, but the remaining ones surrendered.
Excerpt from Interview w/ Dr. Grienko (12/13/1995)
Grienko: "As near as we could tell, the problem was that the counter-meme was treating itself as an invading meme. If a person infected with SCP-898 became consciously aware that they were infected with SCP-898, 898 would activate. We called this "auto-activation." The first complete 898 treatment also had an unfortunate side-effect of "looping." 898 would automatically detect itself once it had been activated once, and would keep activating over and over again. Although we were able to work out the looping problem in most cases, we could not prevent a loop in the case of auto-activation, and we never found a solution to auto-activation. The best we could do was use a work-around with amnesiacs and try to make sure that knowledge of SCP-898 wasn't generally known to Foundation personnel."
Incident Report 898-23
On March 21st, 1995, Trooper Rock (MTFT Beta-4-03) was watching television in the break room on Site-12. At approximately 4:03 PM he screamed, drew his sidearm, and fired several rounds into the television. He surrendered to custody peacefully afterwards, but was unable to explain why he had felt a sudden surge of hostility from the television.
Incident Report 898-27
On March 29th, 1995, Trooper Wall (MTFT Beta-4-05) was sent on a mission to recapture SCP-███, along with the rest of Beta-4. During the helicopter flight to SCP-███'s location, she reportedly opened fire on her Taskforce Leader and other members of her squad when they tried to restrain her. The commander was wounded but survived. Trooper Wall was killed in the fight. MTFL Beta-4-01 reported that he had been giving the squad a "warm-up speech" when Wall attacked him.
Excerpt from Interview w/ Dr. Grienko (12/13/1995)
Grienko: "Beta-4 was one of several Mobile Taskforce teams that we infected with SCP-898 once we thought we'd refined it to the point where unexpected bursts of aggression or panic would no longer be a problem. We were wrong, obviously. I think what we failed to take into account is the extent to which memetic propagation is inherent in human language. Certain key words or phrases that we all use every day represent ideas and inspire emotions, and we take this for granted because we don't know how to communicate any other way. 898, though, somehow interprets certain 'natural' memes as threats, even if they don't influence the mind any more strongly than me telling you a joke, and since no two people in the world have exactly the same neural chemistry, there's no way to know in advance what kind of memes will be treated as threats for any given person."
SCP-898 Test Log, 4/3/1992
Subject: D-44589 infected with SCP-898, Strain 3, and D-44590, not infected.
Test: The first subject would be locked into a soundproof room and provided with a written sample of SCP-444 and asked to copy it onto another blank piece of paper. When that task was completed, a second subject would enter the room, and the first subject would verbally describe what he had written to the second subject.
Results: D-44589 initially appeared to be unable to copy the text, until he resorted to tracing over it. He was unable to describe what he had written to D-44590, and finally resorted to showing D-44590 what had copied. D-44590 was isolated along with D-44589. While D-44590 began to show symptoms of SCP-444 infection, D-44589 did not, and eventually they became unable to communicate with each other.
Subject: D-44591 infected with SCP-898, Strain 4, and D-44592, not infected.
Test: See above.
Results: D-44591 successfully copied the text and read it aloud to D-44592. D-44591 was isolated along with D-44592. While D-44592 began to show symptoms of SCP-444 infection, D-44591 did not, but they were still able to have some limited communication.
Excerpt from Interview w/ Dr. Grienko (12/13/1995)
Grienko: "Our early attempts at making a counter-meme toyed with the idea of compelling the infected subject to be blind or apathetic towards incoming memes, but those had even more serious drawbacks than the "Berserker Serum." In the worst cases, our subjects would become effectively blind and deaf, unable to see or hear or read any language or… sense… anything else with powerful mental associations. In the best cases, the subjects would still be effective carriers of any meme they absorbed, even if they were not personally affected by it. In short, we have failed. Looking back on the last three years, it seems to me is that all we've really done is figure out how to induce a lot of different mental disorders."
O5-█: "I see. And you think that this is reason enough to abandon the project?"
Grienko: "Yes. Maybe not forever, but it's clear to me now that we just don't have the knowledge base to develop very effective memes of our own. Maybe in a few decades, when our knowledge of memetics and neurology is a bit more developed, we can pick this up again, but for now I don't think there's anything else constructive that we can do."