A series of methylated and octylated pyridinium and quinolinium containing thiourea salts with a chiral 2-indanol substituent are reported. These organocatalysts are positively charged analogues of privileged bis(3,5-trifluoromethyl)phenyl substituted thioureas, and are found to be much more active catalysts despite the absence of an additional hydrogen bond donor or acceptor site (i.e., the presence of a heteroatom-hydrogen or heteroatom). Friedel-Crafts reactions of trans-β-nitorostyrenes with indoles are examined, and good yields and enantioselectivities are obtained. Mechanistic studies indicate that this is a second-order transformation under the employed conditions, and is consistent with the dimer of the thiourea being the active catalyst. Charged organocatalysts, consequently, represent an attractive design strategy for catalyst development.