In my little world, the country is run by oppressive dictator-government (Not Post-Brexit!) Even rebellious thoughts are a crime punishable by death (It follows the Morpokian view that the punishment for the first offence cuts out the chance of a second offence)

To police the Issues of the mind, children were experimented on and made telepathic, and raised to find rebellious thoughts and their thinkers. There is little of them, but each on is guarded by A couple of dozen guards, each heavily armed and well-trained.

A group has found that tin-foil hats (laughingly) can block the telepathic scans, and has begun plotting to kill one. However, they need to be able to get close enough. How?


  • Each Telepathic, or "Thought Police", Has a range of 150 Miles (approx)

  • When They sense a rebellious thought, they inform their guards, who inform local enforcement by satellite phone.

  • The rebels have allies all over the country, but spread thin. Too thin for them all to converge.

  • Due to the extensive nature, Only one needs to be killed to 'Cripple' the others for years, due to A Telepathic link (and plot reasons!)

  • In this timeline, No explosives exist. All the way, from molotovs to WMD'S.


  • Vehicles are powered by internal hydroelectric generators. They move very slowly though ( A slow jog can catch them. It's just for SWAG points.)

  • Guns are Spring/Gas powered (+1 For air rifles!)

  • You are always in range of a thought cop.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just walk up in a street with a spring powered gun and a tinfoil lined hat and shoot them. Or do they travel by armoured car or something. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon No explosives of any sort, so I doubt there are guns. $\endgroup$
    – Ranger
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 20:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Related but not a dupe worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/55962/17720 $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 20:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon I saw that before- that's what made me decide to start working on this. There will be more questions keeping to this particular timeline, so this question series could get fun! $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 21:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why would killing the telepaths solve anything? The government could just experiment on more children. It's not like kids are rare. If you ask me, the quickest way to kill a snake is by cutting it's head off. Kill the guards. Frame the children. Then, once the kids are pitted against the gov't, everything slides downhill. It's like when the US gave weapons to the middle east to help them, but ended up getting shot at. $\endgroup$
    – user23110
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 23:02

6 Answers 6


Do you want the fast way, or the slow way?

Fast way

You and a few of your cohorts have found that tinfoil hats block psychics; working fast, you arm yourself to the teeth with butcher knives, axes, and anything else you can get your hands on, and storm the enemy gates. Well, I say storm. I mean "Politely request access." Since the telepath doesn't see any harm, he will have the guards let you in; hopefully, you'll be lucky enough to get a good stab in before the guards take you down. You have surprise on your side; given enough men, it wouldn't be too hard to take down a dozen guards.

Slow way

You and a few of your cohorts have found that tinfoil hats block telepaths, but you realize that you aren't going to be able to storm the castle until you get a few more men. So, you take it slow, handing out hats to everyone you know. And everyone they know. In short order, there's a run on stores for tinfoil, and a remarkable drop in rebellious thoughts. At least as far as the telepath knows. On the one hand, it may be that a guard or other trusted servant tries out this tinfoil hat, realizes he can get away with murder. Then he does.

On the other hand, if no one is brave enough to step up on their own, you'll gather quite the army anyway; men and women with air-guns and any other weapons you can think of, ready to storm the castle and wipe out anyone inside. Assuming you have access to long-distance communication (telephones, radio, etc.), you can easily tell other resistance groups about the tin-foil effect, and once they're wearing their hat, could plan to storm multiple telepaths at once.

The down side, of course, is that your discovery is, in turn, discovered, and you're forced to stop wearing head coverings by local law enforcement. Granted, the telepaths aren't likely to hire spies; what's the point?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So it boils down to give people tin-foil hats, and weapons. We'll go the slow way (For plot convenience and awesomeness). I'm going with this! Now to begin working on my next part, of which I shall hint: Sam vimes. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ And remember - weapons don't have to be obvious. Take a look at weapons taken off prisoners for ideas; rocks and sharpened sticks do just as good a job as guns and swords if you have enough people. $\endgroup$
    – ArmanX
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ True. And the slow method allows for the finding/making of more makeshift weaponry. Hell, I could have a guy throw stone knives. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 17:08

Two cases based on a blank left in your question:

These Telepaths are Protected Like Military Assets

Take more tinfoil hats plus men with military backgrounds and make a hitsquad... or get more cooperation and create an even larger offensive force. This is a suicide mission, as if they can destabilize this part it makes any and all future operations easier (as I'm assuming the baddies will eventually ban tinfoil hats, once they discover this weakness).

This is going to be your only option; if you need to overcome military level security measures done by people with military level knowledge and expertise, then you have to play their game.

Even if these guards are normally the only protection, they're likely housed in a secure facility; there's no point in having these telepaths just wandering around. After all the telepaths have a job to do, so they'll be at some sort of desk with communication technology of that era (computers? Messengers? A cellphone?). The guards will be nearby, and the facility itself is secure.

The Enemy Assumes The Assets Are Safe And Doesn't Protect Them... Not Really

...Alternately, who would need to protect these telepaths? After all, any creature within 150 miles can be detected, located, and detained with near perfection. Who could possibly come close enough to pose an armed threat? To put it alternatively: they're the perfect security system. Who would need to protect the perfect security system?

(Assuming vehicles like airplanes don't exist since you mention that no explosives exist, and we already know how they can be used., so literal horse speed is about the fastest you can close in on a telepath).

Of course there's your handful of guards, but they know it'd be as impossible to sneak up on the telepath as it would be to sneak up on the beam of a spotlight. Nobody is going to come kill the telepath without him knowing so they never have to worry about anything. They're just decorations, as far as they're concerned. Symbolic guards.

In this case all it'd take is your hero, a knife, and his tinfoil hat. Possibly he takes the step of hiding his tinfoil hat under another hat, if he's worried a tinfoil hat would look suspicious.

He'd walk up, say "hi," the telepath would be annoyed and shoo him away, the guards sigh and move to escort your hero away...

And your guard begins to stab the telepath repeatedly.

Let's Assume Neither Of These Work

Okay, let's assume the guards are diligent, but he's not in a facility. Still people aren't going to suspect a threat, since the telepaths can detect any ploy from literal miles and miles away.

Your guy just needs to join the kitchen staff that serves the telepath (wearing his tinfoil hat under his chef hat) and poison the telepath's food. There's no point in a food tester when the idea of an assassination is impossible. Or so they think.

  • $\begingroup$ Brutal. Cars are Pushed/Hydroelectric (Don't worry, you don't need to meddle with your answer) But I do like. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ If only two answers can be marked at once.... Oh well! $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ @DanBrown Don't worry about it. Glad you found an answer that works for your world! $\endgroup$
    – Ranger
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 22:46

Use a Guard

I presume even a guard is a potential rebel ally. Having the ability to impersonate or sway one to do the deed is possible (assuming they wear hats for their uniform). Even if the guard isn't on board...


Poison their food or a lethal, communicable disease which has few symptoms. An unsuspecting guard can be the delivery method. How it is administered depends on what the group knows about their security.

  • $\begingroup$ I like it! The guards are very loyal (they are treated like royalty) But poisoning may work. Of course, I'll wait to see what else comes up before I mark it. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ Seeing other answers so far. One thing I'm thinking of is that they'll already be on high alert, assuming they are always in range. 100% of the planning could not have been done while immune to telepathy. I'm also cetain the regime would not ignore those who have though about what could be done. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ Well, if the planning us done in hush, you are fine. Also, just hide the tin-foil hat under another hat. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 22:16

Send an assassin with a gun. The assassin can where a tinfoil lined hat and can shoot the child through the vehicle window. Alternatively use a drone and then the controller can stay outside the thought radius.

Edit Due to nature of the thought police being everywhere the drone would only work if you we're on a boat somewhere which would be difficult to organise secretly. Furthermore this kind of country probably doesn't allow unauthorised boat launches, particularly boats carrying guns and drones and other high tech terrorist hardware. The assassin on a (possibly suicide) mission is probably more feasible.

  • $\begingroup$ Quick, clean and simple, eh? It might be worth noting that if you are out of range of one, you are in range of another. Also, since the guards are vigilant AF, they would notice a drone. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm, drone option not worth it then. Unless you attacked from a boat in the mid-Atlantic and I doubt this country would allow me to set off in a boat with a bunch of guns and weapons so drone is out. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ I would make up some crap that you can't leave the country for <insert reason here> but that would be unfair. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 21:09

I see answers that suggest ganging up on the Thought Police while wearing tin hats. The Thought Police constitutes multiple guards who will be able to see a gang of people that are uniquely and hence suspiciously wearing tin hats. Hence, I don't think this solution will work.

Even if the tin hats are somehow made visibly inconspicuous, the fact that the Thought Police are not able to read the minds of an approaching group of people makes them suspicious again. I don't think this solution will work either.

This is my suggested solution: Firstly, considering that you're always in the range of a Thought Police unit, it is impossible to plan without the tin hat. If you randomly wear a tin hat, when you're in the range of a unit(this is how I am going to refer to a Thought Police unit), your thoughts get blocked and this is extremely suspicious. So, the first question is how to plan? The only way to overcome this is by exploiting the range of the each unit. The only time when the unit will not mind a sudden absence of thoughts is when you move from the range of one unit to another. At this point you have to wear the tin hat. You're now officially off the radar. Now, you should stay out of sight of the units. And, you can now start planning.

The Plan: You are not going to beat the units if you're wearing tin hats. Also, let's even assume that the guards are very strict and do not allow people in the proximity. The only hope hence, is to be a guard yourself. Let's say until you are close to the target, you will not get the thought to kill the target (How to achieve this will be explained below). And, let's say once you are close enough, you should be able to kill the target.

Firstly, write a bunch of notes and store them in different inconspicuous locations(all while wearing the tin hat). Each note will direct you to the next note, will contain certain specific detailed instructions, and will be marked with a unique symbol. These instructions will direct you on how to become a guard in one of the units. The last-but-one note will ask to take the final note and do whatever is specified in it when near target. target is a placeholder for the target name or the unique identifier of the telepath.

Now, capture someone and make him/her wear the tin hat using the same process you followed to wear the hat. Keep this person in solitary confinement(alone in a dimly lit room filled with the symbol in multiple locations). You need to brainwash him/her so that he/she is attracted to the unique symbol specified above. You can use positive/negative reinforcement here. This is actually torture and is morally wrong(but it's hypothetical, so, let's keep going). The person will be fed, taken care of, nursed, etc. whenever he/she, let's say worships the symbol. Otherwise, he/she is punished badly (not going to specify anything here, but let's assume this will be grotesque). After this conditioning is done for let's say a decade or maybe more (until a blind worshipping of the symbol is achieved), then, release this person and show him/her the first note in your series of notes with the symbols on them. The person would have become a fanatic of the symbol and should be able to carry out all the instructions in the notes until the final note. The final note will say "Kill target".


Throw a party!

So, you can block the telepath form reading with tinfoil hats. On the other hand, both a group mysteriously in tinfoil hats, and a group who mysteriously cannot be read, will be highly suspicious if approaching the guards or the telepath. The guards may notice group, the telepath might look to see their intentions (and see, not just a "lack of negative" but a lack of anything), and if the group cold overcome the guards and telepath while on full alert, they wouldn't need the tinfoil advantage! And getting caught will expose the plot, the tinfoil advantage, and the group.

So... buy up stocks of tinfoil - lots and lots and lots, please. Pick up some spray-paint, some paper, and, critically, glitter. And throw a party!

The point is, make lots of tinfoil hats. Make paper hats. Make mixed hats. Make tinfoil not-hat acessories, clothing accessories, and other decorations, and also craft with paper ones, add paint and glitter and decorations liberally. This crafting step can take as long as you need. Openly tell people you want to plan a party or parade, in honor of whatever holiday or event is closest to your chosen time. Make sure your group knows you've got something planned for the day after the party. Those of your group in the know, must wear a thin layer of tinfoil under regular caps, and only take them off if they're very sure they won't give anything away (like timing, date, or tinfoil advantage).

And, on the chosen day, have your group wear their souped-up, decorated, shiny tinfoil hats. Let them hand out hats (tinfoil, paper, mixed) to anyone and everyone. Drape passers-by with tinfoil decorated scarves, belts, toys, necklaces (made of paper, of course, to be cheap). Hand out sugar, sprinkle confetti, and basically get people laughing, worked up, joyful and a bit reckless. Make sure the wine and beer flow liberally (seed the crowds with people willing to share their flasks). Get everyone hyper.

Everyone, everyone is suddenly wearing tinfoil hats. Your group wearing them (and other decorations) will not stand out. People are up and active and excited, making them harder to read - and masking that chunks of the population will be wafting in and out of readability as hats get passed around, donned, swapped out with paper ones, or forgotten. your group being mostly-unreadable will not stand out. Now is the time to act! (please remember to let your group know that, it's not tomorrow after all! It is happening today!)

Grab some young and reckless teens (not known for sound decision making), Maybe a few of the party-reckless adults, and prime them with the idea that, poor telepaths, the local one (or couple) should be included in the fun. Include as many as you can in your group, and approach the telepath's location. The guards will see the tinfoil, but so many people are wearing them. The telepath will notice some are invisible to their senses, but those who are visible - are harmless, looking to invite the kid to party with them, have fun, cheer them up! They are handing out the decorated hats and drapes! (oh-is-that-why-people-are-hard-to-read, the telepath goes) The telepath will probably, sheltered kid, think them harmless - maybeso even let them in. Certainly not let the guards overreact to harmless kids, fuelled with sugar and alcohol!

And, yeah, once each group is close enough, and once the guards have been told they aren't a threat, once the telepath is within reasonable reach - your group surges forward, with a shout of good natured cheer, and proceeds to an old fashioned assasination. If they managed to get close enough, the atmosphere wild enough, the camouflaged people thick enough - they might seem to have simply tried to sweep the telepath up in their celebration, and some dastardly rogue assassin took advantage (instead of the whole group being in on it).

If the group has enough people, assassinating several telepaths at the same time in different locations might get really good results. The remaining telepaths will be reeling, and the overlapping coverage will be in tatters. There will once again be zones uncovered, there will be unrest, a scandal of how telepaths managed to be surprised like that. The gurads will be crippled - c'mon, how much will they have leaned on the telepaths for answers of where to go and what to do, instead of investigating, planning, and acting on their own?

The group can openly beat their chests and voice outrage about the monsters who have defiled their innocent festival, and launch their own investigation that (accidentally) completely muddies the waters. They can question, or have "clean" allies question, just how effective the telepath setup could be if they didn't see the "rouge assassins" plotting, or even striking, just because of a holiday! Some can carefully use this proof-they-are-not-omniscient as an excuse to bring up questions about how certain they are, that the kids were that sensitive, that accurate, that they hadn't made other mistakes in the past, let the guilty go, or pinned crimes on a nearby innocent. As an extra bonus, they may drum up enough doubt to discontinue the telepath program or even set the telepaths against the government! After all, the surviving telepaths will not be pleased to suddenly be questioned on their certainty and reliability after their group had already been attacked!

As a side note, if tinfoil hats are really, really rare in your world, or if your people aren't quite so likely to get caught up in a society-wide party, a slightly more staid alternative would be to periodically hand out hats to groups of teens and kids, sell them at other times, and basically take a long route to making them a passing fad. Once they're not-unheard-of, spreading hats to a smaller population segment (teens and kids will always leap at shiny things), or hosting a smaller party might still work to yield the "cover people" for the telepath to read (made up of reckless teens who mean no harm) to get the groups close enough for an assassination.


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