Anaxagoras
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Preliminary Report:

Candidate Anomaly 2011-452: “Afterlife Pills”
Principal Investigator: Agent Patrice Walters
Date of Filing: September 8, 2011

Abstract: Agent Ellers and I investigated CA2011-452 (Afterlife Pills), which present a medically novel effect and of which the developers claim a supernatural origin and function. We visited some of the places they contract out manufacture to and interviewed a number of higher-ups at Natural Vision Supplements, including their “Chief Inspiration Officer” and alleged developer of the Happy Hereafter Afterlife Pills, Ms. LouAnne Moonchild. We also consulted with FDA reviewer Dr. Shruti Banerjee, who was at the time investigating the safety of Happy Hereafter, and Foundation neurologist Dr. Andy Mihai.

Natural Vision Supplements makes extraordinary claims, and CA2011-452 exhibits some unexplained psychoactive properties. However, unclear mechanisms of action are not unusual in the realm of psychopharmacology and should not, in the absence of further evidence, be ruled evidence of anomalous activity. Dr. Banerjee said that FDA does not require a mechanism of action even for drug approvals, much less supplements, and gave many examples of established drugs more mysterious than CA2011-452. Dr. Mihai agreed with her analysis, and pointed out that the effects of CA2011-452 align with the non-anomalous state referred to as “enlightenment” that experienced meditators can achieve. He also found several cases of individuals temporarily experiencing this state as a side-effect of mundane medication.

Neither the offices of Natural Vision Supplements nor the sites of manufacture of their products in any way indicated anomalous properties of the pills, though the offices were full of various fraudulent mystical paraphernalia. Ms. Moonchild was of a piece with her company and expounded at length about the supernatural, saying, insofar as I can confirm at my security clearance, nothing close to accurate. She claimed that the Maiden Goddess had showed her herbs that combined to ensure a transcendent rebirth.

In our evaluation, Ms. Moonchild sincerely believes this origin story, so unfortunately CA2011-452 can’t be dismissed as a knowing scam. While we can’t disprove this particular report of the paranormal, it is presented alongside demonstrably false ones. Moreover, Ms. Moonchild was unable to produce evidence beyond personal testimony, even when confronted by supposed inspectors (or, according to news reports, by religious leaders or concerned relatives of their customers). If she gets the proof of an afterlife she assured us Natural Vision Supplements’ R&D department was working on, this assessment might change, but I doubt mystic Tibetan crystals and astrological charts will pierce that veil. At this juncture, I recommend that the investigation into CA2011-452 be suspended.

Event Log:
June 6, 2011: Candidate Anomaly 2011-452 (“Afterlife Pills”) case established.
October 3, 2011: CA2011-452 closed for lack of evidence of anomalous activity.
June 13, 2014: CA2011-452 reopened and reclassified as CA2014-335 in light of new claims and services from Natural Vision Supplements.
July 28, 2014: CA2014-335 and associated anomalies reclassified as SCP-XXXX.
November 10, 2014: SCP-XXXX brought into containment.

Item #: SCP-XXXX

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Instances of SCP-XXXX-A are to be stored in bottles in a secure containment locker. Additional ones may be destroyed or contained as appropriate. Procedures for the manufacture of SCP-XXXX-A shall be maintained on encrypted documents in the Foundation intranet. Additional instances may be produced by authorization of the lead researcher for testing purposes or at the discretion of the Ethics Committee. To discourage further public use of SCP-XXXX-A, a warning of contamination has been released by the FDA at the Foundation’s request.

SCP-XXXX-B is uncontainable, but due to its very limited influence on the world, no direct containment procedures are warranted. Containment of SCP-XXXX-B is to consist of suppressing knowledge of it, which may be accomplished by standard discrediting protocols for sufficiently high-profile individuals who have contacted its inhabitants prior to containment of SCP-XXXX.

After Incident XXXX-4, the equipment constituting SCP-XXXX-C is no longer functional, and so is to be stored in a low-security containment locker. It is possible that anomalous activity associated with SCP-XXXX-A has also ceased. If so, and if a satisfactory mechanism of action can be found by Foundation or external neurologists, SCP-XXXX-A will be reclassified as SCP-XXXX-A-EX.

Description: SCP-XXXX is the collective designation for anomalies associated with the Happy Hereafter Organic One-a-Day Afterlife Supplements marketed by Natural Vision Supplements, a small United States based alternative pharmaceuticals manufacturer.

Instances of SCP-XXXX-A are two-part vegetable (hypromellose) capsules filled with a mixture of compounds, some herbal in origin. For a complete ingredients list of SCP-XXXX-A, please consult Addendum XXXX-1. Persons taking SCP-XXXX-A experience minor physiological effects, most significantly lowered blood pressure, which can be harmful in individuals already suffering from hypotension. As the pills contain approximately eight times the recommended daily dose of vitamin A, additional negative health effects could result from long-term usage. SCP-XXXX-A is significantly psychoactive, causing a significant attenuation or cessation of internal dialog in most users, and producing what many subjects describe as a sense of separation from their minds, emptiness, and in some cases bliss. Depending on the individual and the dosage, this may last anywhere between a day and two weeks.

Natural Visions Supplements claims that anyone who died under the effect SCP-XXXX-A would receive a pleasurable afterlife, and in June 2014, released a service allowing people to contact friends and relatives who had died while on Happy Hereafter over a text interface. Persons contacted report being bodiless minds in a state of constant peace and calm. They retain all knowledge they had at time of death and most of their personalities, and report being able to communicate with other deceased individuals affected by SCP-XXXX-A. This apparent afterlife has been designated SCP-XXXX-B.

The equipment used for communication with SCP-XXXX-B has been designated SCP-XXXX-C after its recovery when containment of SCP-XXXX was established. SCP-XXXX-C is similar in construction to a satellite television receiver, with a crystal radio component to decipher the signal. For full technical diagrams, see Addendum XXXX-20.

Addendum XXXX-12: Dr. Samuel Rudi, who was at the time dying of untreatable emphysema, volunteered to test SCP-XXXX. His excellent record, imminent demise, relative lack of sensitive knowledge, and congenial relationship with Dr. Wei Lin, the current head of research on SCP-XXXX, made him an ideal candidate. Dr. Rudi took one pill each day as instructed until his death on September 10, 2014.

Interview XXXX-5:

Interviewer: Dr. Wei Lin
Subject: Dr. Samuel Rudi (deceased)

Dr. Lin: This is Wei. Sam, are you there?

Dr. Rudi: I hear you. How are things in the land of sun and grass?

Dr. Lin: There’s a lot we need to talk about, but safety first. What’s the passphrase?

Dr. Rudi: [REDACTED]. Same to you.

Dr. Lin: [REDACTED]. What’s it like in there?

Dr. Rudi: Oh, Wei, it’s wonderful. Happy Hereafter was good stuff — if we don’t shut down NVS, the government probably will for us — but I still had a body. I could ignore it least when it worked the worst. Double H helped with that, it helped me grok that I was a thing apart from my body, even from my brain, but the pain worked against that. I don’t think I have a body in here. I certainly don’t have sensory input, though I feel like I’m hearing you.

Dr. Lin: I’m typing on this end. You hear my voice?

Dr. Rudi: No, I think I imagine the memory of your voice. I’m not really talking either. I think it’s just metaphors. They’ll fade, the others tell me.

Dr. Lin: Others? You’re able to communicate with other people in SCP-XXXX-B?

Dr. Rudi: Yes. It’s much of what I’m doing. Enlightenment strips away many things, but curiosity is what I am. There’s many, many people here, and ordinary barriers of space and language are gone.

Dr. Lin: Were they all also on Happy Hereafter when they died?

Dr. Rudi: Mostly. But you’ll find this interesting — there’s some monks and meditation fanatics here too.

Dr. Lin: Other people who would have been enlightened, then. So is this a general afterlife for people in that state? I’m not an expert on Buddhism, but this doesn’t sound like reincarnation.

Dr. Rudi: Maybe. Perhaps it’s Nirvana? I’ll ask the monks. But I don’t think it’s that simple. NVS has been making double H for what, five years?

Dr. Lin: Going on five, yes. They released SCP-XXXX-A in early 2011.

Dr. Rudi: The longest ago anyone in here arrived was in 2009. This place, SCP-XXXX-B — I think it’s something new.

Dr. Lin: That’s very interesting. Or is something happening to the oldest souls that they don’t stay more than five or six years?

Dr. Rudi: Could be, could be. Even without the internal voice and the external body, there’s still patterns of my life clinging to me. I think I may shed those, in time. Perhaps people have been coming here for thousands of years, but the oldest have found vistas I cannot yet see.

Dr. Lin: Sam, will you be okay?

Dr. Rudi: Yes. Yes, of course. I feel clear. Even when I’m talking to you, there’s a silence, an emptiness… This probably doesn’t sound too good, but Wei, I’m free. I don’t have that constant chatter in my skull anymore — I don’t have a skull — I’m just myself, here, wherever here is, and now. I’m free, I’m at peace, and I’m so happy. I could go on this way forever. And I think I will.

Dr. Lin: I understand. But if anything changes, if boredom becomes a factor, tell me. I will contact you again.

Dr. Rudi: Wei, I know that we can’t let this go on — we’re the Foundation, and this is clearly anomalous, however good it may be. Though please, try meditation. If that can get you to the same state I’ve been in, you could come by this without the, uh, using anomalous drugs and dying parts. And if this is truly the afterlife for the enlightened and not something NVS somehow built? Wei, you could join me!

Incident XXXX-4: On November 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM GMT, Foundation agents successfully raided and shut down Natural Vision Supplements. See Operation Report XXXX-3 for further details. Relevantly, agents succeeded in establishing a communications blackout prior to the raid, and no messages were believed to have been transmitted, including through SCP-XXXX-C.

At 4:13 PM GMT, Extranormal Event 2014-505 was filed, reporting a sizable explosion on the far side of the moon, and what observers on the Foundation moonbase described as a large conical object covered in lights accelerating rapidly away from the surface. No connection to SCP-XXXX was realized until Interview XXXX-10, conducted shortly after on November 22 at 4:30 PM GMT.

Interview XXXX-10:

Interviewer: Dr. Wei Lin
Subject: Dr. Samuel Rudi (deceased)

Dr. Lin: Hello, Sam. We did it. Natural Vision has been shuttered. Let’s see if more people join you in there.

Dr. Lin: Oh, right. [REDACTED].

Dr. Lin: Sam?

Dr. Rudi: And as proof it’s me, [REDACTED]. That’s good.

Dr. Rudi: I’m here. And feeling even better than last week.

Dr. Lin: You’re responding slower than in our previous conversations. I don’t think anything happened during the raid that should cause that. Are you distracted in there?

Dr. Rudi: Odd. I’m not aware of anything. You do seem delayed.

Dr. Lin: Okay, simple test. Respond with a really short message as soon as you see this.

Dr. Rudi: Peace

Dr. Lin: Ten seconds.

Dr. Rudi: I sent that immediately. Time is funny here, without a heartbeat or external reference, but I’d know. Is there something slowing down the connection?

Dr. Lin: Sam… I have a worrying thought. What if SCP-XXXX-B is a physical location and it’s moving further away? We know that SCP-XXXX-C is like satellite dish, what if that literally is what it is?

Dr. Rudi: I have a thought, Wei. Could this be speed of light delay?

Dr. Rudi: Just got your message. Hah. I guess from our respective frames of reference, we both had the idea first.

Dr. Lin: This wasn’t what I thought would happen. I talked you into this

Dr. Lin: Sam, I’m sorry.

Dr. Rudi: I’m okay. I’m beyond fear.

Dr. Lin: No your not! I don’t know where you’re going. Your body may be in Fernwood but the part of you that matters can still have

Dr. Lin: I don’t want to speculate. This is the Foundation. I’ve seen enough horrors to know that you’re not dead enough to be safe.

Dr. Rudi: I’m not beyond danger, perhaps. But fear, suffering? Those are tricks of the narrative, and I’m free of that. Scan the sky for me, find me, but I’ll be okay.

Dr. Rudi: Wei, let’s do the time thing again. I can wait as long as it takes.

Dr. Lin: Please respond

Dr. Rudi: Promptly!

Dr. Lin: 38 seconds.

Dr. Lin: I was the one who pushed for a researcher to taek the plunge. We wouldn’t be able to control a D after death. After the tapes, the first questionings I thought these were just people who found something. I have a report titled after that LZ song, if you can believe it. Sam, you were dying. I thought I could save you.

Dr. Lin: Not damn you.

Dr. Rudi: Sam, you did.

Dr. Rudi: No. I am better than ever. I am calm, I want nothing, I have the peace I never had on Earth. Whether it’s the Happy Hereafter or the bodilessness of this place, I am all and only my truest self. Thank you.

Dr. Rudi: We may not be able to talk for much longer. The delay, and the signal may decohere. XXXX-C isn’t too different from regular technology.

Dr. Lin: Sam, I’ll miss you. When I spoke at your funeral, I didn’t think you were gone. I was smiling inside when I said you’d gone to a better place. I don’t know where you’re going now. Please be well. Please.

Dr. Rudi: Here’s an immediate response.

Dr. Lin: Five minutes. You’re almost to Mars.

Dr. Lin: There was report of something launching from the moon. I guess that’s you.

Dr. Lin: Sam?

Dr. Lin: Goodbye

Over the course of several hours after this exchange, the following messages were received by SCP-XXXX-C. Transmission quality had degraded, but they are believed to be the final messages from Dr. Samuel Rudi.

Dr. Rudi: Some of the others have fallen silent.

Dr. Rudi: Wei, I think we’re rocket fuel.

Dr. Rudi: Please don’t be afraid. I’m not.