Life sucks sometimes, doesn't it? You got fired from your job, your girlfriend broke up with you, and you're about to be evicted. Things have really taken a downward turn. But don't worry! It certainly isn't your fault. See, there's these people. Bad people. They don't like you. They don't like much of anyone. And they oppress you. They have satellites that can beam pictures into your head, that's why you kept seeing all that stuff, lost concentration at work. They plant radios in your teeth so that you think you're Hearing Voices. They shoot these weird rays into your brain so that you have those... urges... it's not you. It's them. It's all their fault. They're the ones doing this to you! It's all them. All them, all them, all them, all- What, you don't believe me? Well, you have to. Because otherwise, it would be you. It'd be all your fault. And that can't be right. That's crazy. After all, It's not my fault you're hearing voices in your head now, is it? Maybe you should try wearing a Tinfoil Hat to make them go away.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Attack on Titan: The memories of the entire population seem to have been altered when humanity entered the Walls, removing all knowledge of the world outside the Walls. When Erwin let slip his father's theories in public, the 1st Squad murdered him.
- Welcome to the N.H.K.: Sato and his senpai blame all of the troubles in their lives on conspiracy theories. Sato even believes the titular NHK is actually an organization which exists only to turn civilians into hikikomori like himself.
- Equestria: A History Revealed: The Lemony Narrator seems to think that a lot of Equestria falls under this, and sees Celestia as the Diabolical Mastermind, even when things clearly point against that. That doesn't stop her from believing it though, and creating her own theories through copious amounts of Insane Troll Logic.
- In a more literal example, she states that as a failsafe, Celestia had placed a subconscious mind control spell on all of the mane six to control them if they get out of hand. And that's just one of the many mind control examples she believes Celestia supposedly utilizes.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Chief Bromden's belief in the Combine is probably the most famous example, and later inspired the name of the Combine.
- In Iain Banks's novel Walking on Glass, Steven Grout believes that he is being influenced by orbital mind control lasers.
- VALIS's Horselover Fat is a victim of the three-eyed Soviet space aliens' orbital mind control lasers. Said lasers are pink.
- In The Manchurian Candidate, Communist brainwashers turn a soldier into an assassin through some sort of mind-controlling hypnosis.
- Richard Matheson's story "Legion of Plotters" takes this to its logical— and tragic— conclusion.
- In the Lone Gunmen origin-story episode of The X-Files Suzanne Modeski found a tracking device the Conspiracy had put in her tooth. Which she removed with pliers, somehow managing to avoid passing out from the pain.
- Mulder's water was spiked with LSD in "Anasazi" in order to elicit violent behavior.
- In "Wetwired", the television was sending subliminal messages through red/green wavelengths, again eliciting violent, homicidal behavior. Scully almost succumbs, nearly shooting Mulder in the process. Mulder is unaffected, as it is revealed he is red/green colorblind.
- The appliances in "Blood" were commanding normal citizens to kill by catching them when their intense phobias were exploited. As in "Anasazi", an LSD derivative was used to incite the behavior.
- Starsky & Hutch: in one of the episodes, a serial killer turns out to be a seriously deranged man who believes he's being mind-controlled. He wears tinfoil under his clothes to shield himself from radio waves and his house has tinfoil wallpaper.
- In the Illuminati card game, the Orbital Mind Control Lasers are very valuable minions for any Ancient Conspiracy.
- In Paranoia, this is one of the Anti-Mutant secret society's many fears. This being Paranoia, it's a mix of truth and hair-trigger delusion.
- Syndicate: You (Eurocorp) and all the other Syndicates are trying to Take Over the World though this and cyborg-manned force. Civilians all have a chip in their heads that does all the functions of a phone or computer, and makes the world look far more pleasant. In Syndicate Wars, Eurocorp has been maintaining the mind control conspiracy for years.
- Call To Power gives you the option of doing this to your citizens if you're so inclined.
- An episode of Stroker and Hoop involved a case where a client thinks Ron Howard is reading his thoughts and controlling his actions via satellite. He was right, by the way — this turns out to be how Ron Howard gets people to see his movies.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender does not have one, no matter what anarchist propaganda the Gaang may preach about the honourable guardians of justice, the Dai Li. But why are we bothering you with all of this distressing talk? The Earth King has invited you to Lake Laogai- and you are, of course, pleased to serve him. And do remember- there is no war in Ba Sing Se. There is no war in Ba Sing Se. There is no war in Ba Sing Se.....
- The Simpsons episode "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" has Homer create a lie for his blog saying that flu shots control the minds of children. Later, Homer is captured and taken to a mysterious island because his lie turned out to be true, as flu shots are given before Christmas so people will get the urge to shop.
- There are plenty of people out there who think they're being influenced by Orbital Mind Control Lasers or that the CIA has implanted radio receivers in their molars. Seriously.
- Aileen Wuornos was quite a firm believer that the prison was beaming signals into her head to stop her from revealing the big conspiracy, that the police knew she was going to be a serial killer and were just trying to earn money through movie deals. Yes, she was insane.
- One disturbed person sued the State of New Jersey for this, in Searight v. New Jersey, 412 F.Supp. 413 (D.N.J. 1976). The complaint was dismissed mainly on grounds of jurisdiction, but the court's opinion noted, even if the facts were as pleaded, "Searight might have pinned to the back of a trouser leg a short chain of paper clips so that the end would touch the ground and prevent anyone from talking to him inside his brain." Not quite a Tinfoil Hat, but close.
- Possibly the first example: an Englishman named James Tilly Matthews was imprisoned in Bedlam hospital in 1797 and began to claim that a gang of "pneumatic chemists" were using an "air-loom" to control his mind and keep him locked up.