The Thought Police are a largely fictional concept connected to the New World Order and dystopian fantasy as well as numerous conspiracy theories. In general, they are seen as a type of "secret police" who will enforce the will of autocratic overlords via censoring, intimidating, and even abducting those that dare to question the will of authority by expressing political or social opinions not favored by the elite (and often deeply corrupt) officials.
The Thought Police may employ many techniques to abolish/outlaw free will, such as mind-control or brainwashing, but they can also simply work within the confines of "red tape" and propaganda so as to imprison those they view as a threat, or even engineer society itself so that the "masses" turn against "free thinkers" and thus put immense pressure on the "deviant" to join the rest of society or face becoming a social pariah/outcast.
Like many urban legends, conspiracy theories, and dystopian fiction, the Thought Police do have parallels in reality. A great many dictatorships employed secret police to enforce their will, and some continue this practice well into the modern era. This, coupled with fear and distrust of authority (even in democratic nations), often leads to exaggerated accounts of mind-control experiments, mass spying, "Big Brother" tactics, and even accounts that all major atrocities and wars are orchestrated by elite and hidden societies intent on global domination.
Due to the fact some of history's darkest regimes (Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia) heavily employed secret police, the very concept has become imprinted into the social psyche as a strong and near-instinctual fear of a return to fascist or autocratic ideals on a global scale.
The idea also has some ancient roots, since the Christian Bible made a prophecy that the Antichrist would force many evils upon mankind during the End Times, such as forcing society to worship him and wear his sign. The symbolism is seen by some as a warning of a global fascist state that will act as a spiritual opponent to free will (seen by Christianity as a divine gift).
- Global Community (Left Behind franchise).