This just blows my mind.
It started off as a scientific discovery, not a mere meme. Of course NPCs are real and lack the self awareness to disguise themselves. I don't understand why this meme triggers them so hard it's such an old tired idea.
I think they just attach reactions to events. So something happens and they just react as in "That wasn't good!" or "That was gross!" and as soon as the emotion is gone so is the event itself. Then it's just onto the next thing. That's why they don't have any original ideas, it's just react, react, react.
The reaction is based on the people around them, they just look to see what the majority is doing and follow it for safety. It's basically like a pack animal that follows the others instinctively, and they are all following some kind of a leader. I've noticed if an NPC is alone with me I can change their mind 3 or 4 times by playing devil's advocate, then if more people join and disagree with me they will automatically disagree with me.
NPCs are just incapable on higher level ANALYTICAL thought. They must mostly react to stimuli, and most of their thoughts probably just "come to them". Everybody has experienced this. Sometimes you just get ideas or solutions to problems you have not been actively thinking about for a while, the analysis and processing was occurring in a deeper layer of your consciousness. There is even a word for this: epiphany. You could be drinking a beer and watching TV and suddenly you have an epiphany about something you were doing at work earlier.
NPCs are mostly irrational people that don't like thinking about things. I wouldn't say they are freaks with zero inner monologue. They're just lazy shits who don't make the effort to THINK. Just like a dog or something. A dog isn't "thinking" about what it does, it just reacts to stimuli - your voice, your body language, behavior, and the dog's own intuition. A dog can't explain why it does things, it just does them...because the intuitive processing cortex of its brain told it to do things. It's a dynamic behavior.
Certain animals like crows, dolphins and monkeys can be taught to solve problems they haven't seen before. Are these animals "thinking" using language? Clearly not. But yet a crow can learn, on its own, how to open a latch, or use tools to get food. This crow isn't fucking thinking "oh ok, if i take this stick and bend it this way, I can put it in there and get some snacks" using inner crow monologue. It isn't necessary here. There's a lot of thinking that doesn't require language or metacognition.
I think some people have figured out how to harness these people and control them. If you have figured it out, they are now threatened by you because you could also harness those people and make them do all kinds of crazy shit. You don't even have to make a rational argument, just make an emotional one.
Interesting video on it (not my own)