eightfold path to glory

Content Notice: This article contains significant descriptions of sexual activity, and as such is not suitable for underage readers.

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Item #: SCP-5000

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: Celluloid copies of SCP-5000-1 though 8 are to be kept in standard storage lockers in the media storage wing of Site-28. SCP-5000 instances may not be accessed without permission from the SCP-5000 containment lead (currently Dr. Jennifer Sinombre Dr. David Ciruela).

Foundation agents are to monitor communities of occultists and sexual fetishists for copies or mentions of SCP-5000. All copies of SCP-5000 instances located outside Foundation containment are to be destroyed, and any individuals who have viewed SCP-5000 instances or recreated the sex acts depicted therein are to be treated with Class-C amnestics.

Description: SCP-5000 is a series of eight erotic films (designated SCP-5000-1 through -8) produced between 1977 and 1982. SCP-5000 instances range in duration from 34 minutes to over four hours, and (with the exception of SCP-5000-4) appear to have been filmed in one continuous take. SCP-5000 was created by Francesco Castaldo (PoI-33906), an Italian anomalous artist active in New York and Venice from the early 1960s until the late 1980s, under the alias "Franco Spanko".

SCP-5000 instances have no inherent anomalous properties. It is believed that the sex acts depicted in SCP-5000 instances are thaumatological rituals, the purpose of which is currently unclear; research is ongoing under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Sinombre has ceased indefinitely.

Dr. Jennifer Sinombre - Research Notes, 5 May 1986

Copied from a text file retrieved from Dr. Sinombre's office computer.

Jennifer N Sinombre - preliminary notes on the SCP-5000 project 5/5/86

so the new project is a series of spooky ritualistic porn films. not thrilled, of course, because it's starting to feel like i'm the erotica expert now, but maybe if i keep it up long enough they'll make me the head of an actual sub-department of pornography and i can get a raise. anyway it can't be worse than the last project - had to get a new keyboard, the dolphin fluids were never gonna come out.

documentation suggests that they might even be non-anomalous, but the verdict is still out - i haven't watched the films yet but from what i've heard about them and about Castaldo i'm pretty sure they're going to be thaumaturgy. pulling up some texts on sex magick - crowley, parsons, de naglowska - in case any of it is relevant.

the d-class who watched the films didn't show any anomalous symptoms. some of them requested to see them again, but no memetic compulsion there—pretty sure the commissary doesn't even sell the swimsuit issue, so it's the only porn they've seen in ages. i'm going to start watching them today, should finish with them tomorrow.

watched some of Castaldo's non-anart work last night, just to get a sense of his directorial style. definitely leans more toward erotica than gonzo, with a heavy dose of surrealism. tends to pick classical settings—he loves his ancient roman aesthetics. according to the critics, his best work is Le Barbare (The Barbarian Women). it's definitely strange—like Caligula crossed with Eraserhead—but i have to say, i'm a fan.

AV just let me know that the projector's ready to go. can't bring my computer into the screening room, so it's back to the stone age. (REMEMBER TO DATE PAPER NOTES, JEN)

Table 5000-A: SCP-5000 Instances

Summaries written by Dr. Sinombre; notes transcribed from a notebook retrieved from Dr. Sinombre's desk.

Instance Title Summary
SCP-5000-1 The Sun Kissed Lovers A man and a woman have sex on a beach, starting at sunrise and continuing in a variety of positions until noon. The camera angle changes so that they are constantly silhouetted against the sun. Neither comes to orgasm until the last 33 seconds of the film, at which point the sun increases in brightness until neither actor can be seen.

runtime almost 4.5 hours. I feel bad for them—but that sure is some stamina. prob. clever editing? need full forensic pass to check. solar worship? cross-ref. Aten, Zunbil, Elagabalus/Sol Invictus. title "Sun Kissed Lovers" (sic) w/o hyphen—sun kissing its lovers? find beach location—cross-ref w/ tables of local noon/sunrise.
SCP-5000-2 Burning Passion A group of men masturbate around a fire. As each man ejaculates into the fire, he is replaced by another actor, and the fire burns higher and brighter. After twenty men have ejaculated into the fire, the actors are no longer replaced; after the twenty-fifth man leaves, the fire dies down over the next 30 minutes, revealing a nude woman kneeling in the center. She stands and walks out of frame.

fire gives birth to the woman? fire is the woman? double meaning of "burning passion"—the passion is heated, but the passion (i.e. semen) is what is being burned. special-effects or anomaly?
SCP-5000-3 Bone Deep and Deeper Still Two nude men1 wrestle in a boxing ring. The loser of each round performs oral sex on the winner, and after the winner comes to orgasm they begin another round of wrestling. This repeats for eight rounds, at which point each man has won four times. After the final round, the actors are handed knives by an individual offscreen, and the film ends abruptly as they face each other once more.

ritual combat. only film w/o women in it; if Castaldo is hetero that makes sense. "bone deep & deeper" god this man loves his porno puns. can we find the identities of the men? scars & tattoos both very distinctive.
SCP-5000-4 A Million Little Deaths A compilation of seventy-seven close shots of women's faces, apparently during orgasm. Each shot lasts slightly longer than the previous shot, and each actress is slightly older than the previous actress. At the end of the final shot, the actress stares directly into the camera for three minutes until the film fades to black; a caption informs the viewer that she expired from a heart attack during filming. There is no sound.

beautiful, in a weird way—"little deaths" followed by a big death. last woman is Lucia Scarletta, former model, def. died around the time of filming but we can't confirm she died on camera. human sacrifice? but human sacrifice via natural death. total silence is also interesting, more death symbolism?
SCP-5000-5 Pounding Below the Skin Two men and two women have sex in a variety of positions; their movements are all in time with music played on a variety of drums and wind instruments by a crowd of nude men and women in the background. The music increases in tempo over the course of the film, and the actors' movements increase in speed to match it; during the last 3 minutes, each of the actors comes to orgasm and collapses in exhaustion. The last actor to orgasm, one of the women, is crowned with a cypress wreath by one of the drummers, and carried offscreen by all the musicians as the film ends.

almost like a competition, to see who can last the longest. music is similar to Phrygian ritual songs—that plus cypress wreath reminds me of the cult of Attis/Cybele. (no castration, obviously, but it makes me wonder what would've happened if a man had won)
SCP-5000-6 The Possibilities of Embrace An indeterminate number2 of men and women engage in group sex in a variety of positions and combinations. All of the women are menstruating. Twenty-seven minutes into the film, all sexual activity stops; one woman stands at the center of a ring formed by the other actors, and each other person draws a symbol on her skin in menstrual fluid3. Once each person has drawn a symbol, the circle closes and all of the symbols are licked off by the other participants.

the most scattered, the least sexy. not a fan of period sex. symbols don't seem to have any consistent meaning, almost like it's symbolism for the sake of symbolism. The letters that the actors write don't form any actual words that I can find. not your best work, Franco.
SCP-5000-7 She Does Whoever She Does A woman slowly strips on stage at a club. All the audience members are wearing animal masks. When she is fully nude, she invites a woman in a fox mask onto the stage, and they have sex. Afterwards, the camera follows her backstage and out into an alleyway. She walks nude down the streets of a city, slowly dressing herself in articles of clothing she finds on the ground; when she is fully dressed, she enters another club, dons a fox mask, and sits in the audience as a strip show begins.

cyclical. The dancer becomes the fox, the fox seduces the dancer, it all repeats. can't identify the city—looks european definitely, but there are no signs anywhere, not even numbers on the houses. maybe a pocket dimension? or just a soundstage. sex is more realistic than most girl-on-girl porn.
SCP-5000-8 The Body's Many Portals A nude woman sits on a purple tile floor, with a large basin of water in front of her. She uses the water to brush her teeth, wash out her eyes, nostrils, ears, and navel, and douche her vagina, urethra, and anus, retrieving all the necessary supplies from off-camera. She makes a small incision on the back of her heel with a pocket knife, and washes the wound with the remaining water. She masturbates briefly, lies down on the floor, and seems to fall asleep. The film fades to black after a further fifty-two seconds.

the least overtly sexual. "The Body's Many Portals"—each orifice is a doorway, but to what? opening each door & creating a new one—metaphor for enlightenment? also a solo scene unlike the others. (definitely my favorite)

Dr. Jennifer Sinombre - Research Notes, 6 May 1986

Transcribed from a notebook retrieved from Dr. Sinombre's desk.

J. N. SINOMBRE - 5/6/87

just finished my first watch of the 5000 instances. same style as Franco's other work—blurring the lines between porn and art film. no direct correlation to the sex magic stuff i read, but many of them are mystical at least in aesthetic. didn't find them particularly sexy, except maybe 7 & 8—probably personal bias though, the D's seemed to enjoy them.

4, 8 aren't really porn per se, which is interesting—they were definitely marketed as such, like all castaldo's work. trying to imagine the scene in the seedy porno theatres. guys show up all ready to crank one out and then get treated to just an hour of o-face. genius.

confusing mix of symbolism and ritual. definitely elements drawn from greek & near eastern religion/folklore/mythology. lot of that in le barbare, that was set in ancient scythia, the whole black sea area seems to come up a lot for castaldo. it all looks like magic, but not Magic; ritualistic, but not the right kind of ritual for thaumaturgy. might just be missing steps that you'd know if you were a thaumaturge. should find one to ask. is franco a thaumaturge?

need more background—pull POI file in the AM

Person of Interest File #33906: Francesco Castaldo

Originally compiled May 1970; last updated December 1986.

FrankoSpanko.jpg

POI-33906, 18 June 1976

Legal Name: Francesco Castaldo

Known Aliases: Franco Spanko, The Director, Christopher D'Omera

Associated Groups of Interest: Are We Cool Yet?

Date of Birth: 11 January 1941

Nationality: Italian by birth; naturalized American citizen since 1969

Description: White male, brown hair, brown eyes. Height 1.8m, weight approx. 85kg. Usually wears hair long, and has a full beard.

Identifying Marks: Appendix removal scar on stomach; tattoo of an eye on left pectoral; anomalously animated tattoo of an octopus on right shoulder.

Reason for Interest: Former member of anomalous artist collective "Are We Cool Yet?"; creator of a number of known anomalies, including SCP-5000.

Known Associates: PoI-23325 ("The Critic"), PoI-3337-A (Luisa Bellocchio, alias "The Photographer" - deceased), PoI-27901 (Rev. William Greene)

Anomalous Abilities: Skilled anomalous artist, specializing in photography and filmography; possible low-level thaumaturge.

Rules of Engagement: Observation only, low priority.

Place(s) of Residence: 480 Broome St, #33, New York, New York; 18 Via Enrico Toti, Venezia, Italy.

Biographical Information: Born in Friuli, Italy. Parents, Maria and Gabriele Castaldo, were anti-fascist resistance fighters; father died when Castaldo was 2 years old. Mother remarried her dead husband's brother, Enrico, after the war. Family moved to Venice in 1950; stepfather worked as a longshoreman, mother as a typist.

Attended the Accademia delle Belle Arte di Venezia (Venetian Academy of Fine Arts) in 1962. Became involved in Venetian anomalous art community shortly thereafter via a girlfriend, Lucia Marinetti. In 1964, applied to the Venetian School of the Medicea Accademia Dell'Arte Occulta (Medici Academy of Occult Art) and was accepted; expelled six months later for obscenity and blasphemy.

Moved to New York City in 1967. Began to direct and produce non-anomalous erotic films, most notably Le Barbare (The Barbarian Women) and Rex Mundi (King of the World), both of which were critically acclaimed but had little commercial success. In 1968, became involved with anomalous art collective Are We Cool Yet?, and was given the title "The Director" when the founding Director, PoI-23328 ("Daniel Calderwood") died during a performance of SCP-701 (see Incident Report 701-██/██/1968). In 1969 or 1970, became romantically involved with PoI-3337-A, Luisa Bellocchio (alias "The Photographer").

In 1975, left AWCY? and broke off relationship with Bellocchio. Checked into experimental drug rehabilitation facility in October 1975, citing addiction to alcohol and prescription painkillers. In 1977, began to produce the series of erotic films recently designated SCP-5000; completed series in 1982. Addiction relapse in 1983 presumably sparked by Bellocchio's suicide; has not been active in the art world since, although he has written a number of non-anomalous erotic novels under the pen name "Christopher D'Omera".

Dr. Jennifer Sinombre - Research Notes, 7 May 1986

Copied from a text file retrieved from Dr. Sinombre's office computer.

JN Sinombre 5/7/86

there's something missing in franco's poi file. why are we so sure he's a thaumaturge? as far as i can tell, nothing in his background points to him being anything more than an anartist. exploits yes, magic no. might be some supplemental material elsewhere, i'll keep digging.

m.a.d.a.o. does some thaumatology but we've got his transcripts from there, italian branch has pretty good relations with them, and he never did anything but anart. well, they don't call it anart, but whatever the aristocratic italian equivalent is. and he got kicked out in half a year, something about nude photos of the pope? that part is actually pretty heavily redacted, i think they might've tried to get the vatican involved.

got the possible locations for -1. all over the map, probably never going to narrow it down. just too many east-facing beaches at the correct latitudes, plus we don't actually know what time of year it was filmed. need to look up sun gods next.

may have found one of the actors in -3. doesn't make ANY sense though. Lt. Col. Henry Mostrich, US Army, retired. happily married to Mrs. Elizabeth Pavo Mostrich since 1963. purple heart and distinguished service cross earned in vietnam. war hero, grandfather, upstanding citizen. the face seems to match, but—according to the army's medical records—he doesn't have all those scars. makeup? why did he act in the film in the first place?

more thoughts on -8. cut on the heel is actually two small incisions, almost like a snake bite. washing moves down the body, inverting the chakra flow. kundalini serpent-power? opening orifices = opening doors = opening chakras? need to see if franco had any contact w eastern mysticism.

jackpot - franco did an interview with an anart zine right after -8 was released. getting anart dept to send me over a copy.

Interview with Anartchy magazine, April 1982.

This interview was published in the Spring 1982 edition of Anartchy, a quarterly anomalous art zine published by a collective of anartists based out of Backdoor Soho.

Originally from Friuli, Francesco Castaldo, better known as "Franco Spanko", made a name for himself in the Venice scene with Papi senz' Abiti (Popes without Robes), his '65 series of nude photographs of every pope since St. Peter. Anartchy's Dan Larsson caught up with Castaldo in his Soho studio to chat about inspiration, metaphysics, and the mystical properties of his latest work, the erotic film series Eightfold Path to Glory.

Dan Larsson: So, where did the inspiration for Eightfold Path come from? It seems pretty esoteric, yeah?

Francesco Castaldo: Well, you know, in '75 I had some problems with the drinking and the pills, and I went to a rehab center with a sensory deprivation tank—total sensory deprivation, the sigils on the inside turn all your senses off—and while I was floating there, going through withdrawal, really just out of my mind, I had a vision. The upper realms, they were laid out before me, and all the powers and their dominions and emanations; I saw the true structure of the world, beyond the walls of what we call reality. And from all that knowledge, I derived eight rituals, which are much, much more powerful than their reflections in magic and religion, and I had those rituals performed, and I filmed them. And those films are the Eightfold Path.

Larsson: Wow. That's pretty heavy. But—not to put too fine a point on it—a skin flick isn't the traditional format for conveying occult knowledge. Why not write some sort of occult grimoire, or found a cult to pass on your secrets?

Castaldo: You do what you're good at, you know? Dante had the Inferno, Michelangelo had the Capella Sistina, and I made a porno.

Larsson: Makes sense. There's clearly a lot of heavy symbolism, but it seems like each individual film explores a different theme—mind unpacking some of that for our readers?

Castaldo: There are eight forces that pervade the higher spheres. You may think of them as elements, or philosophies, or perhaps political factions. None of those ways of seeing are untrue, but neither are they the truth. And each of those forces has a path that a practitioner may take, up through the gates of the mind into glory. The rituals in the films can guide one in the right direction.

Larsson: So, if my boyfriend and I found a boxing ring and recreated Bone Deep, we would, what, become enlightened?

Castaldo: Well, it's not that simple. Certain powers must be appeased. If one does not have the right knowledge, or does not perform the ritual at the right time, or in the right place, or with the right tools, then it'll just be some weird kinky sex.

Larsson: And if you do it right?

Castaldo: You take the first step down a very long road.

Franco wouldn't answer any more of our questions, unfortunately—but he did let us reprint some of his famous four-dimensional pinup girls, which can be seen on the next few pages. Enjoy!

Dr. Jennifer Sinombre - Research Notes, 7-15 May 1986

Transcribed from sticky notes and scrap paper retrieved from Dr. Sinombre's office.

find franco's rehab center

eggs, milk, chicken, neti pot, rice, chips, pocket knife, tampons, toilet paper

st agnes of bohemia
"one must first open oneself"

i was right about the snakes

franco's rehab center didn't do sense-dep—where did he really learn the truth???

[Written in purple lipstick on a paper napkin, not in Dr. Sinombre's handwriting.]

ENID 212-271-6[ILLEGIBLE]

[There is a lip-print in the same color on the opposite side of the napkin.]

READING LIST:
dvaranaga sutra
blackwood, cults of hindustan
gospel of zacchareus
steiner, higher worlds & cosmic memory
clavicula solomonis

star charts - ophiucius, saturn, nibiru - next alignments

which history am i in?

NEED TO TALK TO FRANCO

Interview Log, 16 May 1986

Dr. Sinombre approached PoI-33906 through his literary agent, Sarah Weiss, posing as an academic writing a book on erotic film. PoI-33906 agreed to meet for a short interview, which took place in his agent's office in New York City. Interview was transcribed from a cassette tape retrieved from Dr. Sinombre's office.

Subject: PoI-33906, Francesco Castaldo

Interviewer: Dr. Jennifer Sinombre

Dr. Sinombre (JNS): Thank you for meeting me on such short notice, Mr. Castaldo.

PoI-33906 (FC): Think nothing of it. Anything for the fans, no?

JNS: So, I'd like to start with Eightfold Path to Glory.

FC: Ah! My magnum opus. I must confess, that phrase has always amused me. Everyone always says it with such seriousness. But, well…

JNS: It makes you think of the condom size?

FC: Ha! I can see we are on the same page. So, what would you like to know about the Eightfold Path?

JNS: Well, I wanted to know about some of the symbolism you used in, uh, I guess specifically Pounding Beneath the Skin. Uh, Below, sorry. That's all based on the cult of Attis and Cybele, right?

FC: Yes! Right on the head. So many people, they miss the historical references.

JNS: So what would've happened if a man had, uh, "won"? I mean, mythologically speaking, Attis is only really known for the one thing…

FC: Hmm. It was all staged, you know? This was not a real ritual any more than, say, La Cena4 was a real dinner party. But…

JNS: But?

FC: But, if one were to take the lessons laid out in Pounding, and act out a ritual devised from those lessons, and a man were to, as you say, win the contest, he would have to make a great sacrifice if he wished to take the next step.

JNS: Do you know if anyone has ever done that? Performed one of the rituals you say are hidden in the films?

FC: Not with Pounding, as far as I'm aware. Perhaps Sun Kissed Lovers, or maybe… Hmm. Your ankle.

JNS: Excuse me?

FC: Your ankle. It's bandaged, yes?

JNS: Uh, yes. Cut myself shaving. Last night.

FC: Hmm. Of course. Do you know what I find interesting about wounds?

JNS: I… No, I suppose I don't.

FC: There is an Italian proverb. An old one, older even than the Romans. It was first recorded by Horace, when he wrote about the witch-women of the Fucine marshes. "Not all doors are wounds, but all wounds are doors."

JNS: I'm not sure I understand. What is it supposed to mean?

FC: Well, it's about… Opening. A wound opens up our inside to the outside. And stuff can pass through, germs, dirt, but…

JNS: But we can pass through it as well.

FC: Exactly. Did you pass through that wound, when you cut yourself? While shaving, of course.

JNS: I… Yes.

FC: And would you like to go further?

JNS: Definitely.

FC: Then switch off that recorder, and let us actually speak.

Dr. Jennifer Sinombre - Research Notes, 19 May 1986

Recovered from Dr. Sinombre's personal residence.

it's not thaumaturgy. it's what thaumaturgy could be, in a different history. it's what thaumaturgy SHOULD be, and CAN be, if i open the right doors.

i have been there, in my dreams, through the first door. tonight i will pass through the second, in both body and soul. do not try to follow me. find your own path, and maybe we will meet again, somewhere in the higher realms.

to the foundation: we have failed. or we never had the chance to succeed. everything in our little boxes, the statues and the gods, the talking birds and the time-loop suicides, all are pale shadows cast by the real forces that shape the universe. we could not contain the Hours, no more than a gnat could contain a hurricane.

to my successor (david? elaine?): you can do it too. it's all there, if they let you see the films. i cannot give you any more guidance, but i wish you well.

and to ted and katy5: we had our goodbye eight years ago. i don't miss you any more. i hope you don't repeat your mistakes, and i hope you're not even given a chance to make them again.

Jennifer N Sinombre, 19 May 1986

Dr. Sinombre's whereabouts are currently unknown. She did not appear for work on 20 May 1986, and could not be contacted via telephone. When her off-site residence was searched several days later, it was found to be completely empty, except for the above note, pinned to the basement wall with a pocket knife, above a large puddle of king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom.

Since her disappearance, Dr. Sinombre has not been sighted by Foundation or allied personnel.


tags: scp safe are-we-cool-yet medicea-accademia adult artistic media recording ritual sexual _image

This article came from a throwaway line about Franco in one of my own articles, SCP-3337. I no longer remember whether I intended it as a Dr. Spanko reference, although the item number suggests that I may have.

The "mystery" element is the mysteries of magic and the universe that Sinombre is delving into; she's solving her own mystery, and we only see parts of it.

Hopefully, I made the clinical description of porn as creepy as it was intended to be.

This is also an homage to Cultist Simulator, one of my favorite video games; it could be considered a crossover, of sorts.

Franco creative commons from here. The real guy, Lasse Braun, is exactly the weird vaguely mystical porn director that Franco is, but real life instead of fiction.

Read by: Roget, Conwell, Jekeled

Preference for slots other than 5000: 5069, 5337, 5690, 5066, 5023


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