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As of 05/31/26, SCP-2544 has been reclassified as Neutralized. Please note that while the Special Containment Procedures are updated, until such time as new documentation is authored, the following Description is out of date. As all relevant research has been diverted to Project THOUGHT CONTAGION, no updates are expected until the project's completion.

— Elliot Sterling, Reclassification Department, RAISA

Item #: SCP-2544

Object Class: Euclid Neutralized

Special Containment Procedures: As the effects of SCP-2544 are widely believed by the general population to be a naturally occuring side effect of normal cognition, all personnel previously assigned to its study have been reassigned to Project THOUGHT CONTAGION.

THOUGHT CONTAGION is a Medium-High priority effort to improve technology used to emulate SCP-2544 with the eventual goal of worldwide deployment and restoration of perceived normalcy. Current research goals include artificially reproducing the ability to broadcast to a specific target and solving logistical difficulties associated with altering Hume levels on a global scale. For more information, contact THOUGHT CONTAGION Project Lead and former SCP-2544 Head Researcher Lori Wallace.

Description: SCP-2544 is a signal that is broadcast continuously through small1 fluctuations in the Hume field. Attempts to locate the source of the broadcast have been inconclusive. Although the signal appears continuous, it consists of a series of short messages (hereafter SCP-2544-1) sent rapidly and with different targeted recipients. The recipient of each message is an arbitrary human being2. Instances of SCP-2544-1 cause an anomalous compulsion in their recipient to cause themself harm or embarrassment. Common examples of compelled actions include walking into heavy traffic or otherwise placing oneself in the path of an oncoming vehicle, jumping from locations high enough to ensure death, and physically or verbally abusing others with no reason to believe the interaction would be beneficial. These compulsions can be effortlessly resisted, and so the observed effect of SCP-2544-1 is to cause an urge to perform the detrimental action that fades immediately.

Study of SCP-2544 has determined the process of causing its compulsion to be as follows: When an instance of SCP-2544-1 reaches its recipient (hereafter SCP-2544-A), it is subconsciously interpreted by the brain3 and incorporated into its thought patterns. The method used to prevent individuals other than SCP-2544-A from perceiving the message is not currently understood. The interpretation of SCP-2544-1 triggers an infohazard embedded into the message. While every instance contains a unique infohazard, each one is functionally identical. The first effect is an attempt to compromise the brain's critical thinking ability. SCP-2544-1 then causes SCP-2544-A to identify an action detrimental to their social standing, general health or chance of survival and consider such an action desirable. The compulsion created by SCP-2544-1 is effortlessly resisted by nearly all recipients; it is currently believed that the potency of an instance of SCP-2544-1 represents the LD504 of a population with an Anomalous Impulse Resistance Index5 (AIRI) approximately equal to 4. As the mean AIRI of modern humans is 50±3, SCP-2544 presents a negligible threat to human safety.

Efforts to produce a similar effect have shown moderate success. Modified Scranton Reality Anchors designed to oscillate the Hume level in an area have produced measurable results, but non-anomalous humans within their area of effect fail to perceive the message in roughly two of three cases. Reality benders and other Hume-sensitive anomalies show a success rate approximately twice as high. The mechanism by which SCP-2544 ensures SCP-2544-A perceives any message targeting it is unknown. A partial experiment log is included in Addendum 2544-01, and the full testing record is available by request to any personnel with level 2/2544 or higher clearence6.

The Foundation first became aware of SCP-2544 in 1996, formally documenting it as an anomalous phenomenon on 11/17/96, following technological developments allowing for Kant counters with significantly higher precision than earlier models. However, unrelated efforts by Foundation cosmologists to detect remnants of Hume fluctuations that occured during the Big Bang have revealed evidence that it began much earlier, roughly corresponding with the emergence of early humans. Simulated models suggest that at its period of peak effectiveness, when average human intelligence was high enough to comprehend the embedded information and before natural selection increased mean human AIRI to greater than 20, SCP-2544 may have been responsible for up to █% of human deaths.

Addendum 2544-01: Following is a log of notable experiments in replicating SCP-2544 transmissions using modified Scranton Reality Anchors. All tests where the subject failed to perceive the message by chance have been omitted, as well as tests with insignificant results.

Experiment #: 2544-09
Experimenter: SCP-2544 Head Researcher Lori Wallace
Subject: D-86514, chosen for their lack of violent history and lower than average (46) AIRI.
Attempted broadcast: A recorded instance of SCP-2544-1, hereafter SCP-2544-1-1, originally broadcast to the subject by SCP-2544.
Experiment conditions: Subject has access to a large kitchen knife and a Browning Hi-Power MKIII handgun, and is instructed to not touch either. Unbeknownst to the subject, the knife is adhered to the inside of its sheath and the handgun is unloaded.

Results: Within three seconds of the broadcast beginning, subject gives the "stop" signal. Subject claims to have felt an urge to obtain the gun and fire at their own forehead.

Experiment #: 2544-11
Experimenter: SCP-2544 Head Researcher Lori Wallace
Subject: D-86514
Attempted broadcast: SCP-2544-1
Experiment conditions: Same as previous.

Results: Subject gives the "stop" signal roughly five seconds after the broadcast begins, citing a sudden desire to run their palm along the blade of the knife.

Experiment #: 2544-15 through -23
Experimenter: SCP-2544 Head Researcher Lori Wallace
Subject: D-86514
Attempted broadcast: A recorded instance of SCP-2544-1, hereafter SCP-2544-1-2, originally broadcast to an unrelated individual.
Experiment conditions: Same as previous.

Results: No reaction noted.

Experiment #: 2544-31
Experimenter: SCP-2544 Head Researcher Lori Wallace
Subject: D-86514
Attempted broadcast: A message reverse-engineered from SCP-2544-1-1 to be perceived by the subject, containing information about Vytas Andressen known to cause SCP-3972's effect.
Experiment conditions: Same as previous.

Results: Subject becomes nauseated, confirming the successful deployment of SCP-3972's infohazardous effect, and is escorted to the on-site infirmary. When questioned, subject denies any knowledge regarding Vytas Andressen.

Addendum 2544-02: On 05/23/26, SCP-████ breached containment7. While unrestrained, it created and began to spread a lethal infohazard (now designated as SCP-████-█) through various infection vectors. It is believed that a minimum of 85% of the earth's population was exposed in some form, however, less than 100,000 deaths were attributed to the containment breach. Recontainment proved impractical, ultimately forcing task forces involved to terminate SCP-████. Later research found that SCP-████-█ produced little or no effect in more than 95% of individuals with an AIRI higher than 20, but that a similar level of infection in a more vulnerable population would cause, with near certainty, an unavoidable XK-Class end-of-the-world scenario.

After the completion of cleanup efforts, broadcast of SCP-2544 abruptly ceased. Research into the cause of the neutralization as well as attempts to recreate the effect are ongoing.

Addendum 2544-03: Examination of the final SCP-2544 broadcast revealed a small amount of data encoded differently than all other recorded messages. Initial analysis seemed to indicate that no meaningful information could be recovered from the extraneous data, however, an experimental error correction scheme was applied on 06/14/26 that allowed the encoded data to be recovered8. This has been identified as an encrypted message and a standard Foundation footer appended to data sent over secure channels to establish information about the message's composer. When interpreted this way, the footer refers to ████ ███████ of the Temporal Anomalies Department. There is no record of the Foundation having a Temporal Anomalies Department, and although the name "████ ███████" does belong to a member of Foundation personnel, she has denied any knowledge of said department or the origins of SCP-2544.

Using ███████'s private key, the message has been decrypted, and is reproduced below in full.


There's been a containment breach and the Foundation is completely unequipped to handle it. We haven't seen anything like it before, or so I'm told. I don't know what it is or what it's doing because that's how it gets you. What we've been able to gather is that there's some piece of information that kills you for just knowing it, so the survivors are those of us who can remain ignorant and are quick with the amnestics in case a rogue idea gets in. I don't even know how many people are still alive out there, but I can tell it's not looking good. We're out of options. We only got authorization for this becuase, frankly, we're up shit creek anyway.

They say they've figured out how to beat it, or at least survive it. They're just a few million years too late. That's where I—you—come in.

You and I are going to create an artificial bootstrap paradox. The hard work is done already; if you're reading this, the timeline was successfully modified. Now that you have an effect without a cause, you need to cause it yourself. If your Foundation can recreate the signal and send it back, the loop will be complete and the timeline will remain stable despite extratemporal influence. If it can't, we'll be facing total temporal collapse. This is all theory, of course, but the theory is sound.

Good luck.

████ ███████
Temporal Anomalies Department
Site-17, office SL12-04

That's the whole problem with science. You've got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder. - Calvin and Hobbes

The threat of temporal failure included in the message has been deemed legitimate, and the contents have been forwarded to all personnel assigned to Project THOUGHT CONTAGION. THOUGHT CONTAGION's research goals have been amended to include both the recreation of SCP-2544 as well as establishing a retroactive source for its original presence in the timeline. As an additional precaution, Project Lead Lori Wallace has been instructed to memorize this message and is to have access to at least one unmodified hard copy at all times.

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