Item #: SCP-1255
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-1255 is to be kept in a standard containment locker at a constant temperature and humidity. Only ten photocopied pages at a time are to be produced from SCP-1255, for the purposes of lexical analysis, and are to be destroyed following analysis. Testing has been discontinued; no access is to be permitted to the object.
Description: SCP-1255 is a hardcover book showing wear consistent with its age entitled Your Life And Living It, recovered by the Foundation in 19██ . The copyright page lists Autodidact Publishing as the publisher, but all other information has been rendered illegible by several large stains on the opening pages. The foreword names the author as John Willard, identified as a professor of philosophy at the University of ██████ for several years before the book’s publication. Unfortunately, Prof. Willard was deceased by the time of recovery and investigation of his acquaintances and personal effects have yielded no insight into SCP-1255’s properties. He has been consistently described as a humble and unobtrusive man with no enemies, close friends, or strong opinions of any sort. Lexical analysis of Prof. Willard’s other writings confirm him as the author, however, the style employed in SCP-1255 is noticeably more emotional and vivacious than the clinical tone he typically employs in his lectures and scholarly writings.
Upon beginning reading SCP-1255, subjects invariably display one of two reactions: either a growing personal interest in continuing reading or a growing aversion to doing so, with roughly 75% of subjects expressing an interest in the text’s subject matter. Subjects display no anomalous behavior if ordered to act against their wishes, only normal disappointment and annoyance. If reading is interrupted, the subject will display a desire or aversion to return to the text consistent with their initial reaction and scaled according to their progress through the text.
Upon completing the text, interested subjects display gradually increasing symptoms of mania, messiah complex, obsession with the message of SCP-1255, delusions of grandeur, and an attitude of extreme self-confidence, focus, and independence, culminating in a sustained state of pronounced elation. Subjects have been observed to make significantly greater usage of simile, metaphor, and analogy in both speech and reasoning and have shown a noticeably greater willingness to subscribe to spiritual and supernatural interpretations of events in their personal lives and in the world at large. In four out of five cases, these symptoms have led subjects to question their loyalties to the Foundation and compelled them to act against its interests, necessitating termination.
Disinterested subjects will display symptoms consistent with extreme depression, rapidly increasing in severity following completion of the text. Traditional psychiatric and pharmaceutical treatments have proven largely ineffective; some success has been met following treatment with amnesiacs.
The contents of SCP-1255 are described by subjects as a philosophical argument, delivered in a relatively colloquial style, detailing the “meaning of life.” The argument proceeds through nine chapters, touching briefly upon numerous subjects and incorporating evidence and support from numerous fields of science and branches of philosophy, while remaining fixated on the individual reader’s life and well-being. The end result is described as a complete picture of reality, history, and human nature, as well as the fundamental solution to all problems individual and societal. When pressed, interested subjects are unable to reproduce the exact line of reasoning used in the text, but remain wholly convinced that their understanding of it is true to the text and maintain that the argument presented within it is without logical or factual flaws. Subjects frequently describe the text as deeply uplifting, enlightening, and encouraging and tend to ascribe to it a variety of beneficial effects, particularly uncommon mental and emotional health. Subjects commonly claim to have grasped “the truth,” from the text and tend to urge others to read it themselves, insisting this to be the only effective means of communicating its message. Disinterested subjects are similarly unable to recall the specific contents of SCP-1255, but go into far less detail describing their reaction. Where interested subjects have shown a tremendous willingness to discuss SCP-1255 in great detail and at great length, disinterested subjects dismiss it as naïve or childish and demonstrate such contempt or indifference towards the text that they consider it beneath them to discuss it.
Addendum 1– Note from Researcher Ramjang: “Recommend we discontinue SCP-1255 testing and lock it away. I’ve done profiling on some of these people before I had them read it, and the effect is disturbing to say the least. It just can’t be healthy to undergo such a psychological one-eighty. It unhinges something in them, like energy and self-confidence are held back by a dam that's all of a sudden broken. It’s just not natural. If someone were to make copies of this book and disseminate them, we would be looking at societal collapse. A world of fearless sociopathic idealists with an axe to grind is not a world I want to see.“