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Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 10th, 2007, 11:05 pm
Ginny1984  Female.gif Ginny1984 is offline
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Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

I was just wondering, after reading HBP and looking into Dumbledores memories, why the ministry couldnt tell who was a real DE and who wasnt? Surely they would only need to look on the forearms to see who had the Dark Mark there?
I dont think that Voldemore would have put the Dark Mark onto the arms of Imperiused 'followers', as if they came out of his control they would know whenever LV called his DE together, or if one of them caled him.

Any suggestions?


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  #2  
Old August 10th, 2007, 11:38 pm
SeverusSnapeHBP  Female.gif SeverusSnapeHBP is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

I don't think that they were looking exclusively for Death Eaters, people can be followers, but that doesn't exactly make them Death Eaters. Death Eaters have to be marked By Voldemort himself.

There's also the possibility that the Ministry was unaware of a mark on the arm. The only person to my knowlege who showed the ministry a physical mark was Snape, and that was after Lord Voldemort's revival. Certainly even Death Eaters in Azkaban wouldn't show the Ministry their marks because they probably knew that Voldemort would be back one day.

Also you can notice the issue between Karkaroff and Snape in Book 4. Both Karkaroff and Snape noted that the mark was becoming darker, which may imply the Mark faded to something unnoticable when Voldemort wasn't active.


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Last edited by SeverusSnapeHBP; August 10th, 2007 at 11:50 pm.
  #3  
Old August 10th, 2007, 11:40 pm
Artemis_Black  Female.gif Artemis_Black is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Also, if you could use Veritaserum, you have very few excuses for not knowing who's a Death Eater.


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Old August 10th, 2007, 11:41 pm
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

I think the quote that the world isn't made up of good people and death eaters sums it up! I guess it was part of Voldemort's abilties to spread so much distrust that people would not openly challenge other people.


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  #5  
Old August 10th, 2007, 11:43 pm
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Aha, I see where you are coming from. It's almost applicable to the McCarthy era.


  #6  
Old August 10th, 2007, 11:49 pm
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Interesting parallel certainly. Like any institution (Except COS of course ) the Ministry of Magic has it's faults. Corruption in it is as rife as possible. Voldemort being some bit of an opportunist just built on this so no one knew who to trust or turn to.


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  #7  
Old August 10th, 2007, 11:50 pm
Artemis_Black  Female.gif Artemis_Black is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Fear and doubt breeds insecurity, and Voldemort is good at that.

Perhaps the ministry only convicted who they had to? Like Barty Crouch, Jr.?


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Old August 11th, 2007, 12:17 am
Ginny1984  Female.gif Ginny1984 is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

I dont think they convicted who they had to... look at Mr Barty Crouch, he was pretty ruthless!
Although I hadnt thought about the DM fading into almost nothing when Voldemore disappeared! Good point!


  #9  
Old August 11th, 2007, 12:20 am
Artemis_Black  Female.gif Artemis_Black is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Ruthless, yes.

Did the ministry ever use Veritaserum to find out who was a Death Eater? I would think torture would be out of the question, and only so many Death Eaters would be willing to turn their fellows in, like Karkaroff.


  #10  
Old August 11th, 2007, 12:23 am
Ginny1984  Female.gif Ginny1984 is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

I dont think that Veritaserum was used. It amazes me that they had all of this magic available and hardly used any of it during trials! Maybe its part of the legal system? Fair trial and all that? But then again evidence needs to be gathered.
It might not be seemed as ethical to force Veritaserum on people, although DD used it...


  #11  
Old August 11th, 2007, 12:26 am
Artemis_Black  Female.gif Artemis_Black is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Then besides the reasons I mentioned before, how else could the ministry have figured out who?


  #12  
Old August 11th, 2007, 4:02 pm
Grotfang  Male.gif Grotfang is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Veritasserum would not work as it is only powerful when the drinker is weak, vulnerable or not aware of it being used on them. Also it is very tricky and time consuming to make. In order to use it, the ministry would have to torture/imprison countless innocent individuals in order to work them into a state whereby the truth serum actually works. Little bit unethical. In terms of the Dark Mark, we see in Book 4, when gaps are left for the absent members that the group is clearly not that large, so most of his followers will be unbranded and therefore unidentifiable in this manner. I also sincerely doubt that any of the wizards with the mark would allow a ministry worker close enough to allow it to be a useful method of identification (and w/o we're back to arresting without evidence again!)

Other methods of testing would be the spell used to test a wands previous incantations, although this is easily beaten and we get the problem of getting close enough again. Also, you would have thought the ministry could make better use of legilimancy - it is clearly a far more powerful tool than veritasserum, although again it can be beaten.

There are many possible methods of attack, but none of them foolproof. However I would tend to agree with Ginny1984 - the ministry don't seem to have been trying too hard!


  #13  
Old August 11th, 2007, 4:07 pm
Artemis_Black  Female.gif Artemis_Black is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

And just as Veritaserum has ethical gray areas, wouldn't we run into the same problem with Legilimency? I mean, technically speaking, it wouldn't seem to be very ethical...


  #14  
Old August 11th, 2007, 4:35 pm
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Comeing to think about it, why didn't the looked at everyone's forearms for the mark? Ok there are followers that think Voldemort is the coolest thing on earth so they start burning up muggle houses, but the couldn't have problems with real Death Eaters



Last edited by Alastor; August 11th, 2007 at 6:08 pm.
  #15  
Old August 11th, 2007, 7:19 pm
Ginny1984  Female.gif Ginny1984 is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

But would the ethical side of it some into things? Surely if the DE's have been murdering innocent families and children then the ministry should use any method available to them!


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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:51 pm
SquiggyDralion  Female.gif SquiggyDralion is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Even if people in general don't show off their Dark Mark, I still don't understand why they didn't just check all their suspects? The lack of a Mark wouldn't prove someone innocent, but if a suspect does there's no way of getting around the fact that the person was at least at one time a Death Eater.

I understand that Veritaserum is difficult/expensive to produce, but surely the courts should go to every expense to uncover the truth. 'Course, we have seen many times that they do not, so forget that argument. As to the whole "weakened state" thing for Veritaserum, getting someone into a weakened state doesn't necessarily require torture or maltreatment. Dumbledore uses Veritaserum on Barty Crouch Jr. successfully by administering it while Barty is Stupefied.


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  #17  
Old August 15th, 2007, 9:07 pm
Ginny1984  Female.gif Ginny1984 is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquiggyDralion View Post
Even if people in general don't show off their Dark Mark, I still don't understand why they didn't just check all their suspects? The lack of a Mark wouldn't prove someone innocent, but if a suspect does there's no way of getting around the fact that the person was at least at one time a Death Eater.

I understand that Veritaserum is difficult/expensive to produce, but surely the courts should go to every expense to uncover the truth. 'Course, we have seen many times that they do not, so forget that argument. As to the whole "weakened state" thing for Veritaserum, getting someone into a weakened state doesn't necessarily require torture or maltreatment. Dumbledore uses Veritaserum on Barty Crouch Jr. successfully by administering it while Barty is Stupefied.
Agreed completely! Although you can understand JK overlooking some details.... a whole new world cant be easy to create!


  #18  
Old August 15th, 2007, 9:33 pm
OliverWoodFan35  Female.gif OliverWoodFan35 is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

I can't think of a reason why Lord Voldemort would put the tattoo on the Imperiused people. If he did that then the ministry would've put them into Azkaban prison. I just don't understand it myself.


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Old August 16th, 2007, 8:46 am
Grotfang  Male.gif Grotfang is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Surely stupefying innocent people in order to use the veritaserum would be unethical though. Also, personally, I would count someone who has been stupefied (and therefore only borderline conscious) as being in a weakened state.

The equivalent (in my eyes) in the non-magical world would be beating someone repeatedly until they tell you the "truth". And we know from war crimes in the middle east that this is frowned upon in Western culture. I can only assume that the Ministry of Magic feels the same way.


  #20  
Old August 16th, 2007, 6:54 pm
PotterGirl654  Female.gif PotterGirl654 is offline
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Re: Why couldn't the ministry tell who was a real death eater?

Maybe I missed this part in the discussion, but it's also been said that a lot of people did Voldemort's business while under the Imperius curse. I think this was in the 4th book, where Moody says something along the lines of how can they tell between the liars and those telling the truth. It's a good excuse, just saying you were forced to do it.


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