Veng the Manipulator is one of the most hideous enemies to mankind the world has ever known. His unique combination of Psionic abilities and magic items allow him to sneak into his victims dreams, and modify and direct the dreams, as well as “adjust memories”. Over the years, he has ‘programmed’ an insidious network of totally devoted followers. Using his natural ability of ‘Wisdom Drain’, he has created an army of willing slaves.
In ancient China, women bind their feet for cosmetic reasons, resulting in them not able to walk without help and walking in a shuffling gait.
Possibly this can be modified such that people do it for less stupid reasons.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a racist remark since I'm Chinese myself and hence entitled to freely judge Chinese customs. NOT sexist either since I'm female as well.