They often contend that the entire apparatus of the modern state - from medicine to the school system, political process and media - is designed to corral individuals into a personality type that perpetuates the system: compliant, obediant and in thrall to the wishes of the state.
It is proposed that from the earliest age, health visitors, educators and various state agencies act in unison to form people's beliefs and mould them into 'model citizens' who unblinkingly accept untruths pedalled by those in power, who work to further their own agendas at the people's expense. This includes the pursual of wars - either openly or by proxy - against enemies of the state.
Place in wider culture
While clearly a niche belief, it does chime with broader trends in current culture: a permanent, more deeper and personal version of the cynicism towards the motives of the media and political classes. For people well within the political mainstream, claims that wars in the Middle East are motivated by access to economic resources (i.e. oil) are hardly fringe - and from all parts of the political spectrum come claims that veer close to this territory in a general sense. The Tories are often said to be in the pay of big business or merely 'the wealthy', while Labour are equally vilified for being in thrall to vested interests of their own: eco-fanatics, euro-federalists and trades unions.
For the most part, such debates are little more than political rhetoric deployed by people in order to protect their own beliefs from forensic examination. If you are in power and accused of favouring one group over another, it is simple good political sense to point out counter-examples that your opponents themselves are guilty of. This is the backdrop to the "Punch and Judy" politics that all politicians from time to time decry (ironically usually to enhance their own image).
The beliefs of Targeted Individuals are often centred on a further belief: that having seen through the miasma of lies peddled by the state they are 'whistleblowers' whom the state must stop at all costs from spreading the word.
Knowledge and Freedom of Speech
It is true that in all places and at all times that power will attempt to close down debate in contentious areas. 'Freedom of speech' is rarely an absolute and comes couched in the assumptions that inform contemporary culture. Of such material are debates about the use of even individual words (recently whether 'Yid' - as deployed by fans of Tottenham Hotspur - is intrinsically racist, for example) formed. In a broader sense, "hate speech", "promotion of terrorism" and "incitement" are all examples of wider pools of subtle censorship that exist within a nominal culture of free expression. At the more extreme end of this process is, arguably, the banning of particular books: possession of Hitler's Mein Kampf is illegal in Germany, while recently Waterstones and Amazon in the UK have self-censored themselves by removing books from sale that promoted fringe beliefs - from the promotion of Islamism, to Holocaust denial.
Targeted Individuals exist in a world where they as individuals are the subject of state harassment precisely because of the views that they hold. They contend that the state acts to target them directly through a variety of means - primarily through surveillance and electronic harassment, but also within suggestions of direct assassination. More insidiously, they suggest that categories of mental illness have been invented purely to allow the state to categorise, medicate and confine individuals who threaten its existence.
Anti-psychotic drugs such as Citalopram are marketed to the general populace as means to control moods, depression and anxiety, but to TIs, they are seen as effectively mind-control agents: shutting down curiousity and questioning instincts that led them to see past the broader conspiracy of society.
Underground self-help groups exist to help TIs and spread the word of the state's conspiratorial activities away from the medial mainstream.
See also: conspiracy theories