Mind control has proven a popular subject in fiction, featuring in books and films such as The IPCRESS File, and The Manchurian Candidate, which has the premise that controllers could hypnotize a person into murdering on command while retaining no memory of the killing.


The Illuminatus! Trilogy pokes fun at conspiracy theorists' assertions of pervasive mind control. The best known example for the book is the fnord, a word that the populace at large has been programmed since birth to not consciously notice, but to associate with a sense of fear and general unease; it is supposedly inserted into published works on current events, such as magazines and newspapers, but is absent from advertising, leading people to avoid knowledge of the world and to be obedient consumers.

Firestarter is a Stephen King book about a girl who has pyrokinesis, the ability to create fire with her mind. Her father can control people's minds making them see things and do things and he uses this ability to save his daughter.

Science fictionEdit

In the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange, later adapted into a film by Stanley Kubrick, the "Ludovico Technique" is a form of mind control that causes the subject, in this case the thug anti-hero Alex, to feel sickness and pain whenever he has a violent or anti-social impulse.

Mind control (telepathic hypnosis) is a prominent psionic gift in the Scanners movies. It is used by the Scanners to escape imprisonment in the first movie, and to sometimes control others in the subsequent films.

George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four features a description of mind control, both directly by torture, and indirectly, in the form of pervasive mind control by the use of Newspeak, a constructed language designed to remove the possibility, Sapir-Whorf-wise of articulating or of even thinking subversive thoughts.

The Jedi mind trick is a prominent plot device in the Star Wars saga.

In "The Matrix", a chemical was injected into Morpheus to make him reveal access codes.

Michael Crichton's "Terminal Man" has doctors implant a simple computer into the brainstem of a man who suffers from impulsive violence. The plan is to stimulate certain nerves to ease the violent impulses. Instead, the violence becomes even more irresistible.

In the anime, movie and video game series Street Fighter 2, Vega (known as M. Bison in the US) uses his "Psycho Power" to brainwash and corrupt street fighters across the world into joining his criminal organization known as Shadowloo, turning them into remorseless killing machines fully under his control.

In comic books, Professor Xavier, the leader of the X-Men, can read and control people's minds.

The House of the Scorpion is a Sci-Fi book in which people have computer chips implanted in their brain, allowing them to only do what they are 'programmed' to do. These people are referred to as 'Eejits'.

In the anime, Code Geass, the protagonist, Lelouch Lamperouge, gets the ability, Geass, which gives him a form of mind control by allowing him to give someone an absolute order, by looking them in the eye.

In the movie Control Factor, an unsuspecting "everyman" slowly realizes he is an unwitting guinea pig being used in a mind control test. If successful, the test will then expand to behavioral control of an entire population.

In the Bionicle storyline, a Kanohi mask called Komau allows the user the power to control minds of beings.

In Samuel Youd's Tripods trilogy, the alien Masters control all of humanity via devices called Caps which are permanently affixed to the skull. The Caps received signals broadcast by equipment in the Masters' cities.

In Empire of the ants, giant ants used a white gas to control the minds of humans.

Video gamesEdit

In the MMORPG City of Heroes, players of the Controller class can opt for the primary list of powers dubbed Mind Control, which includes the ability to affect emotions remotely, confuse, inhibit or affect physical actions, and cause psionic damage to opponents.

In the MMORPG World of Warcraft, players of the priest class gain the ability to mind-control other humanoid characters, gaining full control over their actions for a short period. (Due to interface limitations, priests cannot do anything else while controlling a target.)

Preacher units in Populous: The Beginning as well as priests in Age of Empires are able to take control of an opponent's units (in fact, this is their primary function in both games). Although this is not mind control, but rather preaching to the enemy so that they willingly convert sides.

The character Yuri in the Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is an extremely advanced telepath with the capability of completely controlling the actions of others. There is one flaw, however: a mind-controlled person can be seen to be showing strain against Yuri's power, culminating in sweating, stammering and memory loss. Later in the game expansion Yuri's Revenge, he leads an entire faction with several mind controlling units included.

In Konami's stealthy title Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation, Psycho Mantis, a rogue special forces member with powerful telepathic abilities, subtly controls a small army, and on several occasions completely dominates a single person's movements and speech.

The Dark Archon, a unit in the computer game StarCraft, has the ability to psionically mind control other units, indefinitely taking complete control of them.

In Midway's Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, the player's character Nick Scryer can perform mind control.

In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, the mysterious Project Alchera is revealed to be a form of mind-control, marketed to the masses as a form of entertainment.

In the series Destroy All Humans! the main character, Cryptosporidium, can use mind control to force humans into doing his bidding.

The video game Bioshock has an exquisite twist-the player character is revealed to have been subconsciously mind-controlled and must obey any action stated after the command phrase, "Would you kindly?"


Main article: Hypnofetishism

There has also been a rapidly growing genre known as erotic mind-control and remote influence, where the controller's motivation is to control victims for the controller's own pleasure, although this is often described as resulting in pleasure for the victims as well. Most such stories are published only online[1] as they are written by amateur writers as a hobby.

Other fictionEdit

The TV series The Prisoner featured mind control as a recurring plot element.

In the movie Conspiracy Theory, Mel Gibson plays as Jerry Fletcher, a cab driver and a conspiracy theorist who coincidentally hits a truth involving a secretly government-funded mind control program, as it turns out Jerry himself is one of the subjects of the program.

In Judy Malloy's Revelations of Secret Surveillance, a group of artists and writers struggle to understand and expose a covert system that utilizes psychodrama and brain scanning surveillance to interfere with the lives of artists, activists, and many other people.

Other referencesEdit

The progressive/heavy metal band Queensrÿche uses mind control as the central theme of their 1988 album Operation Mindcrime.

Mind control as entertainmentEdit

Hypnotism has often been used by stage performers to induce volunteers do strange things, such as clucking like a chicken, for the entertainment of audiences. The British psychological illusionist Derren Brown performs more sophisticated mental tricks in his television programmes, Derren Brown: Mind Control.

The late Russian psychic, Wolf Messing, was said to be able to hand somebody a blank piece of paper and make them see money or whatever he wanted them to see.


  1. The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

See alsoEdit