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Would the Inquisition best be comparied to the CIA ( or KGB, or Mossad, or ISI?)


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#1 peterstepon

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:59 AM

I was thinking about what the best way to describe the inquisition.  The Imperial Guard are the army, the Adeptus Arbites are the police.  We have the Church and the vast Bureaucracy.  Would it be best to describe the Inquisition as a large security aparatus similar to the CIA or KGB?  Huge budget, the authority to do what ever they want.  Working with unsavory characters from time to time.  Doing anything necessary to preserve the Imperium.  Uncovering and starting conspiracies.  Fighting a shadow war.  Having a militant arm (similar to the teams that work for the CIA in real life). 



#2 Dok Martin

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:03 AM

Enforcers: Police

Arbites: mixture of FBI and Special Forces

Inquisition: Gestapo



#3 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:29 AM

The Inquisition would be best compared to the large security apparatus that was known as the… Inquisition.



#4 Maese Mateo

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:33 AM

bogi_khaosa said:

The Inquisition would be best compared to the large security apparatus that was known as the… Inquisition.

 

Holy crap!

 

=P

 

 

PS: joke aside, bogi_khaosa es completelly right. The 40K Inquisition is based on the catholic Inquisition, so there is no need to compare it to the police or anything else.



#5 ShadowRay

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:02 AM



Like this?



#6 Adeptus-B

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:48 AM

The best comparason is the Holy Inquisition during the Rennassiance: the brutal enforcement arm of the Catholic Church, the official state religion for most of Europe at the time. -But it seems like you are looking for a more modern analogy, so I will side with Dok Martin and say the Gestapo- or maybe the Gestapo as they would have become if the Nazis had won WWII.



#7 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

If you want to get technical, the 40K Inquisition is based on a British pop culture image of the real Inquisition, like the Middle Ages that influences the Middle Ages in Space ethos isn't the real Middle Ages, but the Middle Ages as imagined in British pop culture.

I don't think any actual organization has ever had the power that the 40K inquisition does, but if you want to look for a modern analogy, the best is I think the NKVD mixed in with some of the Gestapo.

Ah, the grimdark future, where Beria can be an inspiration for a heroic character 



#8 Zakalwe

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:18 PM

I tend to liken the Adeptus Arbites to the NKVD actually Bogi, if only because they are so public about what they do. I quite like Dok's breakdown, the impression I get is that the Gestapo was more secretive and feared for that lack of visibility whereas the NKVD was a very visible political army, much like the SS (although employed differently).

But then that's all history I suppose.  Most of what I know about the NKVD comes from Antony Beavor's excellent books 'Stalingrad' and 'Berlin'. I gues we are all informed differently by the sources we have used.  I also imagine, like with the Arbites and the 40k Inquisition there was lots of cross over and blurred boundaries of jurisdiction.

But as has been said, the best fit for the 40k is the historical Inquisition.  Especially the Ordo Hereticus (with a good dose of Gestapo: gotta love the cliche black leather trenchcoats)



#9 SomVone

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:08 PM

 I think a better modern comparison would be something like the Illuminati, if they actually existed. Near mythical enforcing agents who have eyes and ears everywhere and know no mercy. Gestapo is also good though.



#10 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:13 PM

You're right; Gestapo is better.



#11 Sister Callidia

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:31 AM

They would not look like the CIA, Mossad or KGB because those organisations are mostly concerned with keeping an eyeto threats from other Nations. They are strictly looking at their own population.

The Inquisition is an organisation everybody knows about but not many will ever see an agent in the flesh. They are secretive and apperantly omnipresent. They are like the Stassi, Big Brother from the novel 1984 or even Men in Black without Will Smith and laughable aliens.



#12 macd21

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:18 AM

None, really. The Inquisition - despite some superficial similarities - isn't like any real world organisation. In the RW all such groups had strict hierarchies and rules. The Inquisition doesn't. Every Inquisitor is a law unto himself. Each is very much an individual. This is a point which is stressed in the fluff - every Inquisitor is unique. One might come across as a gestapo agent, another as a Catholic Inquisitor, another as a KGB agent - but most don't really draw upon any one source other than weird.



#13 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:32 PM

Yeah, no real-world secret service has ever had this level of power.



#14 Radwraith

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:52 PM

bogi_khaosa said:

Yeah, no real-world secret service has ever had this level of power.

KGB, CIA, Nazi SS, Spanish inquisition; My answer would be all of the above dependent on the inquisitor in question. The Ordos do serve the function of an intelligence agency similar to the KGB and/or GRU. They also serve an internal policing force similar to Secret service or ATF. They do this with all the enthusiasm of a Spanish Inquisitor or Gestapo agent. Their Independence is required for the Vast swathes they must cover and their Zeal is due to the immense threat they face. If one reads either Eisenhorn or Ravenor we find out that inquisitors do in fact have a "Code of conduct" of sorts and they can be sanctioned or even executed for violating it! Much like modern intelligence agencies that code is fairly loosely defined in order to allow Inquisitors to perform their function. In short, Inquisitors are there to GET **** DONE!!! They are not the last line of defence they are the first! It is their duty to anticipate, Investigate and Thwart various threats to the Imperium before the Mighty Space Marines or Imperial guard even realise they exist. It is only when they fail that the Military arms must be called in to defend the realms of the God-Emperor!



#15 Skeletor

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:27 AM

The men-in-black, but where the memory wiping device is a bolt round to the head. It's super effective.



#16 macd21

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:43 AM

Radwraith said:

 

KGB, CIA, Nazi SS, Spanish inquisition; My answer would be all of the above dependent on the inquisitor in question. The Ordos do serve the function of an intelligence agency similar to the KGB and/or GRU. They also serve an internal policing force similar to Secret service or ATF. They do this with all the enthusiasm of a Spanish Inquisitor or Gestapo agent. Their Independence is required for the Vast swathes they must cover and their Zeal is due to the immense threat they face. If one reads either Eisenhorn or Ravenor we find out that inquisitors do in fact have a "Code of conduct" of sorts and they can be sanctioned or even executed for violating it!

Not exactly. Technically no Inquisitor ranks above any other. Even the title of Lord Inquisitor grants no formal authority over other Inquisitors. And there is no Inquisition-wide code of conduct.

In practice, of course, Inquisitors need to respect each other. The only check on an Inquisitor's power is the will of another Inquisitor, so reputation is important. And any Inquisitor can order the execution of another - it's just that the degree to which that order will be followed really depends on the status of each Inquisitor in the eyes of others. Lord Inquisitors are essentially the first amongst equals, Inquisitors who are so highly respected that their word holds special weight amongs local Inquisitors. Yet even they have no right to order another Inquisitor to do something.

This ambiguity leads to different arrangements across the Imperium. In some sectors there are unofficial local codes of conduct and unofficial hierarchies of power, especially in ones with lots of Inquisitors. In others there are no rules. Even in sectors with such codes in place there may be no effective way of enforcing them, as no Inquisitor commands enough respect to make rulings that anyone will listen to. In the Eisenhorn novels the Lord Inquisitor (and by extension those Inquisitors who work at his behest) has enough respect that his word is effectively law. Anyone opposing him has to go up against the entire local Inquisition. Of course, if you piss off your local fellow Inquisitors you can always move to another sector. Unless your enemies are willing to follow you (or have friends locally) you can set up shop and continue business as usual.



#17 Radwraith

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:33 PM

macd21 said:

Radwraith said:

 

 

KGB, CIA, Nazi SS, Spanish inquisition; My answer would be all of the above dependent on the inquisitor in question. The Ordos do serve the function of an intelligence agency similar to the KGB and/or GRU. They also serve an internal policing force similar to Secret service or ATF. They do this with all the enthusiasm of a Spanish Inquisitor or Gestapo agent. Their Independence is required for the Vast swathes they must cover and their Zeal is due to the immense threat they face. If one reads either Eisenhorn or Ravenor we find out that inquisitors do in fact have a "Code of conduct" of sorts and they can be sanctioned or even executed for violating it!

 

 

Not exactly. Technically no Inquisitor ranks above any other. Even the title of Lord Inquisitor grants no formal authority over other Inquisitors. And there is no Inquisition-wide code of conduct.

In practice, of course, Inquisitors need to respect each other. The only check on an Inquisitor's power is the will of another Inquisitor, so reputation is important. And any Inquisitor can order the execution of another - it's just that the degree to which that order will be followed really depends on the status of each Inquisitor in the eyes of others. Lord Inquisitors are essentially the first amongst equals, Inquisitors who are so highly respected that their word holds special weight amongs local Inquisitors. Yet even they have no right to order another Inquisitor to do something.

This ambiguity leads to different arrangements across the Imperium. In some sectors there are unofficial local codes of conduct and unofficial hierarchies of power, especially in ones with lots of Inquisitors. In others there are no rules. Even in sectors with such codes in place there may be no effective way of enforcing them, as no Inquisitor commands enough respect to make rulings that anyone will listen to. In the Eisenhorn novels the Lord Inquisitor (and by extension those Inquisitors who work at his behest) has enough respect that his word is effectively law. Anyone opposing him has to go up against the entire local Inquisition. Of course, if you piss off your local fellow Inquisitors you can always move to another sector. Unless your enemies are willing to follow you (or have friends locally) you can set up shop and continue business as usual.

Ah….No. There is such a thing as a Conclave of Sanction (Mentioned in the DH corebook and in the Eisenhorn Novels).Technically, the ONLY charge that can be levelled against an Inquisitor is Heresy. This is essentially a Trial presided over by the "local" Lord Inquisitor and your fellow Inquisitors serve as both prosecutors. Defence and Jury. The "Sanctions" you can receive range from Castigation to Exile (Sometimes as a Rogue Trader) to Excommunication and Execution. You are right in that what is perceived as Heresy is heavily dependent on the viewpoints of your fellow Inquisitors!



#18 macd21

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:04 PM

Radwraith said:

 

Ah….No. There is such a thing as a Conclave of Sanction (Mentioned in the DH corebook and in the Eisenhorn Novels).Technically, the ONLY charge that can be levelled against an Inquisitor is Heresy. This is essentially a Trial presided over by the "local" Lord Inquisitor and your fellow Inquisitors serve as both prosecutors. Defence and Jury. The "Sanctions" you can receive range from Castigation to Exile (Sometimes as a Rogue Trader) to Excommunication and Execution. You are right in that what is perceived as Heresy is heavily dependent on the viewpoints of your fellow Inquisitors!

Again - not officially. Things like conclaves and sanctions are local traditions, not rules. It's all about image and respect. A conclave is a way of attacking another Inquisitor's image, of harming his reputation.



#19 Radwraith

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:26 PM

macd21 said:

Radwraith said:

 

 

Ah….No. There is such a thing as a Conclave of Sanction (Mentioned in the DH corebook and in the Eisenhorn Novels).Technically, the ONLY charge that can be levelled against an Inquisitor is Heresy. This is essentially a Trial presided over by the "local" Lord Inquisitor and your fellow Inquisitors serve as both prosecutors. Defence and Jury. The "Sanctions" you can receive range from Castigation to Exile (Sometimes as a Rogue Trader) to Excommunication and Execution. You are right in that what is perceived as Heresy is heavily dependent on the viewpoints of your fellow Inquisitors!

 

 

Again - not officially. Things like conclaves and sanctions are local traditions, not rules. It's all about image and respect. A conclave is a way of attacking another Inquisitor's image, of harming his reputation.

I am sure that there is some equivalent to the Conclave in every sector if not the same thing! After all, Eisenhorn's adventures did not take place in Calixis! There has to be a mechanism to deal with those (Comparatively few) Inquisitors that step behond the realm of Radical and into true heresy!



#20 FieserMoep

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:40 PM

The only way to deal with a heretical inquisitor is another inquisitor. And the best inquisitor for this job serves the Ordo Hereticus.

 

The only "widespread" real institution the inquisition has are its Lord Inquisitors, elected by tradition, and among them there is the Inquisitor Lord Terran, but this rank has no real power of its own, its the inquisitons representative, he has to say what the high conclave orders him to say.

 

There is no real law an inquisitors is bound to. He can do whatever his build up authority allows him to do. His might is based upon his rank as inquisitor but an inquisitor is not automaticly an inquisitor. Look at Coteaz, his power base is a "whole" sector under arms and a large intelligence network of devoted agents. Look at Eisenhorn, his power comes from his personal cadre and presence "on the field". Look at Rex which dominates clonclaves of the Inquisiton and therefore inquisitors at their own, also he relies on the special forces of the inquisiton and his personal leadership on large scale confrontations.

 

All this can be summ up as their reputation. The more power they accumulate the stronger they are. Their rank of inquisitor only allows them to do so but it does not automaticly make them what you would imagine of an inquisitor. There are strong and weak ones and technicaly every inquisitor can declare another one exomunicate traitoris. But it depends on his reputation wether other inquisitors take this sirious and on the reputation of the victim wether he can be defeatet by the power of the accusant. This is the fragile balance of power I spoke of, this is the secret work of the Ordo Hereticus which hunts down the hereticals but also save the inquisiton itself so it cant loose itself.

 

The Inquisition saves the empire, but who saves the inquisition?

The Ordo Malleus and Xenos are recognised for their large scale actions against the threats of the empire, but the Ordo Hereticus battles the greatest of them all, the enemy within who already has brought the empire down to one knee. There is nothing in real history you can compare to that. Imagine an individual, and incarnation of your worst nightmares, with the power to "sign the death warrant of an entire world and consign a billion souls to Oblivion.", an individual that is no longer bound to the moral of a mortal but the direct service of a god, an individual whose power is only limited to his imagination, who has the right and authority to unleash war upon his enemys and to crush everyone in his way, who does not know innocence because there is none. Imagine a Man with such great power that one word of him can cause actions of such devastation that the simple thought of them would render someone lesser utter insane. This is the theory of an inquisitor, in the "reality" the common inquisitor is way less dangerrous, but the Lord Inquisitors I discribed are still out there, watching every single step of you.






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