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  #1  
Old 07-09-2008, 12:22 PM
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Default darkfriend recruitment...

As I'm re-reading the books and reading different theories, something has come up that bothers me: How do we get all of these darkfriends?

I know some can be turned, and some of the weaker minds scared or intimidated into recruitment. But take someone like Mazrim Taim or an Aes Sedai. If he wasn't a DF from the beginning, how does he become one (again, if not turned against his will)?

He can't exactly approach a Forsaken. If I'm Demandred and I see Rand's right hand man coming at me I'm annihilating him. If I'm just a regular old DF I'm still steering clear of Taim or an AS, or anyone really, because if exposed they are killed.

So I could see some people 'bumbling' into the DF world, but wouldn't most people just be DF wannabes just because you really have no idea who to trust?
  #2  
Old 07-09-2008, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
TOR Questions of the Week, February 2005-July 2005

Week 4 Question: How exactly does one become a Darkfriend? How does the recruiting structure for the Black Ajah work? Being Mistress of Novices, was Merean particularly active in recruiting?

Robert Jordan Answers: By and large, each cell of Darkfriends recruits people it thinks are likely candidates, though they need to do so very carefully, studying them, sounding them out slowly. Darkfriends are always on the lookout for new members, since they feel very much like an oppressed minority and want to increase their numbers. Once a move to recruit is made, though, either it succeeds or the failed candidate dies.

For someone seeking actively to become a Darkfriend, generally one begins by trying to attract the attention of those who already are Darkfriends. One fairly safe way is to let comments drop that indicate that you don't think the Light is all it's cracked up to be, that praying to the Creator seems useless etc. If this comes to the wrong ears, you might be in varying degrees of trouble depending on what country you are in and who it is that overhears, but you are unlikely to get worse than a flogging from the authorities and possibly only a stern warning to watch your talk from somebody in a tavern, perhaps accompanied by a clout on the ear. Although someone might decide to slip a knife into you in some rougher areas of some towns. It's only relatively safe. By the by, claiming not to believe in the Creator is a good way to avoid recruitment by the Darkfriends. After all, if there is no Creator, how can the Dark One be imprisoned, and if he isn't, then why hasn't he taken over and rewarded the faithful? One of the fastest ways to attract attention is to show yourself willing to kill to advance yourself or simply for gain. That doesn't mean that every strongarm who's willing to slit a throat to steal a purse is a Darkfriend. Some of those might well be horrified by the suggestion. This method has its drawbacks, of course, since if you attract the attention of the authorities first, you are very likely to end up with a noose around your neck or a trip to the headsman's block.

In the White Tower, Black sisters watch novices and Accepted closely for any indication that they might be leaning toward the Shadow or susceptible to the promises of the Shadow. They also watch other sisters, since people do change. Not every Black sister was recruited on the day she gained the shawl nor soon after. Merean had a fine position for watching novices and Accepted, but many sisters teach. Some do little else, but others take turns at it for various periods, so Merean was not necessarily the primary recruiter during her time as Mistress of Novices, not even among those in her charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
Lord of Chaos book tour Fall 1994, Seattle - Tony Zbaraschuk reporting

Q: How does the Black Ajah recruit new members?

RJ: Very carefully. You have to understand that EVERY Ajah recruits carefully and subtly. Generally, after all those years as novice and Accepted, your teachers know your character and personality VERY well, and you are guided to the Ajah where you fit. The Black Ajah watches too. And recruitment is a one-shot offer: they offer, and you can accept or die. There are a lot of ways to die that wouldn't lead to any suspicion; for instance, it's pretty easy to kill yourself experimenting with the One Power. Who would think that such a death wasn't accidental? [It has been suggested that many of Taim's "losses in training" are for this reason. - Terez]
Q: [I mentioned Katerine Sedai, 17 years Aes Sedai, 12 years Black.]
RJ: One thing they do, for instance, is watch new Aes Sedai. Sometimes women get past the final tests and then discover that they don't have anywhere near as much power and freedom as they thought they would have.
This database is good for questions like that. And easy to use too.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2008, 01:39 PM
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very nice, thanks.

my next question then is: has there ever been an instance of people infiltrating the dark side and spying?
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:44 PM
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No, not that we know of.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:21 PM
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that could be an interesting twist for the last book...if a DF turns out to be good. but from the top of my head i can't think of any prospects.

asmodean is the only DF that i remember that seemed to have a shred of good in him and he's long gone.
  #6  
Old 07-09-2008, 03:29 PM
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heh...Delana had at least a shred of good. In her first point of view, she thinks about how she wishes she could do something for Siuan, who used to be a good friend.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:57 PM
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you know...luc/isam might be a possible candidate. might pull a darth vader at some point...
  #8  
Old 07-09-2008, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natural1dave
asmodean is the only DF that i remember that seemed to have a shred of good in him and he's long gone.
Oh, I doubt that Asmodean had any good in him...he was just making do with a situation that he had no choice over.

Quote:
The Fires of Heaven
Chapter 56 - The Threads Burn
Tucking his harp under his arm, Asmodean drifted away from Mat and Aviendha. He enjoyed playing, but not for a pair who did not listen, much less appreciate. He was not sure what had happened that morning, and not sure he wanted to be sure. Too many Aiel had expressed surprise at seeing him, had claimed they had seen him dead; he did not want details. There was a long gash down the wall in front of him. He knew what made that sharp edge, that surface as slick as ice, smoother than any hand could have polished in a hundred years.

Idly but with a shiver, too he wondered whether being reborn in this fashion made him a new man. He did not think so. Immortality was gone. That was a gift of the Great Lord; he used that name in his head, whatever al'Thor demanded on his tongue. That was proof enough that he was himself. Immortality gone he knew it must be imagination, yet sometimes he thought he could feel time dragging at him, pulling him toward a grave he had never thought to meet and drawing the little of saidinhe could was like drinking sewage. He was hardly sorry Lanfear was dead. Rahvin neither, but Lanfear especially, for what she had done to him. He would laugh when each of the others died, too, and most for the last. It was not that he had been reborn as a new man at all, but he would cling to that tuft of grass on the cliff's brink as long as he could. The roots would give way eventually, the long fall would come, but until then he was still alive.
No to mention the fact that he blinded or maimed all the artists that were his rivals before he went over to the dark side...
  #9  
Old 07-09-2008, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natural1dave
that could be an interesting twist for the last book...if a DF turns out to be good. but from the top of my head i can't think of any prospects.

asmodean is the only DF that i remember that seemed to have a shred of good in him and he's long gone.
Ingtar redeemed himself at the end, so that's another DF with a shred of "good" in the makeup.

Given the way DF's deal with people they approach who turn them down, I'd be surprised if there was much infiltration going on.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold
Ingtar redeemed himself at the end, so that's another DF with a shred of "good" in the makeup.

Given the way DF's deal with people they approach who turn them down, I'd be surprised if there was much infiltration going on.
I actually think it would be the other way around. Say you get approached and you have no desire to be a DF, but you know death is the other option, what would you do? I would say sure and then do what I could to secretly undermine their cause. Doesn't matter if you get caught as you die anyway...
  #11  
Old 07-10-2008, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natural1dave
I actually think it would be the other way around. Say you get approached and you have no desire to be a DF, but you know death is the other option, what would you do? I would say sure and then do what I could to secretly undermine their cause. Doesn't matter if you get caught as you die anyway...
But that's not "infiltration."

Infiltration would be someone seeking them out and trying to pass the recruitment process without giving themselves away.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2008, 04:51 PM
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Default Infiltration of a darkfriend group

If there are any channelers, they will put you under compulsion and put you to the question, as it were. If there are no channelers, they will put you to a test that will involve some irredeemable act and add herbal truth telling drugs to the mix, if there are any.

Of course, the noble side of the Light would never be so practical.

"Spying is filthy work. Necessary, but filthy."
  #13  
Old 07-10-2008, 05:28 PM
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Yeah, you can't infiltrate the Black Ajah for certain because they use the Oath Rod, and they can pull you into a circle against your will. I imagine there are similar practices among regular Darkfriends but they probably aren't quite as effective.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:02 AM
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That leaves the male channelers as a target for infiltration. They can't link, they aren't bothered by any Oath Rod that is known to still exist, and they're probably quite capable of protecting themselves against things that non-channelers would succumb to.
On the other hand, Taim's training accidents suggest that such infiltration isn't really all that fool proof. So I would guess that there are ways of weeding out fakes from the male Dreadlords, even if we haven't seen how they do it.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat
They can't link, they aren't bothered by any Oath Rod that is known to still exist
While it's true that the Asha'man don't mess with binders, I just wanted to point out that I see no reason to buy Sammael's claim that the existing ones only work on women.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzo
On the other hand, Taim's training accidents suggest that such infiltration isn't really all that fool proof.
All that really suggests, beyond actual training accidents, is that recruiting isn't fool proof. Men are approached about becoming Darkfriends, and balk, and then get killed.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
All that really suggests, beyond actual training accidents, is that recruiting isn't fool proof. Men are approached about becoming Darkfriends, and balk, and then get killed.
Not quite. Suppose that a couple of the ones that had been approached had been upstanding enough not to want to be Darkfriends, yet smart enough not to say "you'll have to kill me first". Then I would have expected at least one of them to search out Rand and tell him "the M'Hael is a Darkfriend who is recruiting others to the DO's cause". Yet not a single one of them has done this. That suggests strongly that Taim is indeed capable somehow of making sure of the loyalty of his followers.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:21 AM
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Oh, I'm sure he's got means, but that doesn't necessarily mean that your scenario is a likely one. There are all sorts of ways to gague a person's reaction to the proposition other than by what they say.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:30 PM
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The Black Ajah has sort of been infiltrated, since the hunters have bound Talene to report what she knows about the Black Ajah. And that's definitely the only way the Black Ajah ever would have been infiltrated, since most Aes Sedai refused to even consider their existence.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:40 PM
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Well, it hasn't really because Talene had to go into hiding. Because she knew they would pull her into a circle against her will.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:57 PM
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Well, I meant that until Talene had to go into hiding, she had to tell the Ajah hunters everything she knew. They wouldn't have even known about the Supreme Council and all that if it weren't for the information they got from Talene.
 


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