So, I figure this is something the dark lord would use, and the dark side in general. By using the Imperius curse on someone who worked for the enemy, one could gather information by forcing this someone to be a spy.

However, there is never mention of the MoM using techniques like this in the books (or extra-content that I've seen). They are, however, known to use the killing curse in situations of war, and great danger (specially among the aurors). So that begs the question:

Do they ever use the Imperius curse as a way to force an enemy's "soldier" to spy for them?

P.S.: If you question the morals of using the Imperius curse, well, using the killing curse is much worse, not to mention that by using the Imperius curse they could keep their own man and woman from getting into danger. Besides, governments have no morals using an enemy as a spy makes it much easier to convince the enemies that they are not.

  • 4
    i believe they mention that the auror's were given license to use all of the unforgivable curses, and not just specifically the use of the killing curse. So that leaves the option open that specific auror's could infact have done this if they so desired.
    – Himarm
    Jun 26, 2015 at 14:00
  • 2
    I also can't think of any examples of the MoM employing the Imperius curse, though it would probably be expected of the MoM during the events of Deathly Hallows. Prior to that, though, Umbridge does threaten Harry with Cruciatis as part of her interrogation, so I wouldn't be particularly surprised if she had used Imperius while acting for the MoM.
    – Etheur
    Jun 26, 2015 at 14:01
  • Your point on morals is a fallacy. Morals are subjective but by saying one thing is more immoral than another you're only helping justify the supposedly less immoral thing. Sirius would have died before betraying his friends but Wormtail had no problem betraying his friends. Besides that if it's the same target the comparison falls (though I think you're saying if they legalised killing - and they did - then it's no problem to legalise other things). I can't say I disagree with your crossed out text but as Dumbledore put it there are worse things than death and my point stands valid anyway.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 4, 2017 at 22:26
  • That being said with a more humane prison (which isn't the case as the Ministry is corrupt, unethical and immoral) it could possibly be argued that controlling the Death Eater to hand over their wand and 'come along quietly' could be better than death. But that would still be justifying doing something immoral just because it's supposedly less immoral. With the dementors though it's even worse: they'll suffer terribly when death would prevent that suffering.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 4, 2017 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


During peaceful times

No. What enemies would they need to spy on? Not to mention the it is one of the Unforgivable Curses, which, presumably, they outlawed.

During warfare

The Aurors had permission to use the UCs, but Imperio would likely not be used.

  • The Imperius Curse can be fought off, as seen in The Goblet of Fire, and it would be dangerous to have an agent who will suddenly shake off control, and reveal that he was spying, and therefore rendering the information he gave the Ministry useless, as they would just change things.

  • The government should make an example of continuing to follow the laws, even in days of war, to keep things from becoming a riot and more people getting killed.

  • The Death Eaters would likely notice a change in behavior of the spy, and figure it out - with the same result as above.


I think - no. Because in the situations of war, if you cathed an enemy's soldier, or even officer, that wouldn't be effective to use imperius curse on him. Because every mind-oriented spells can be easily disspelled by a powerful wizard, so as we in the war state, that is right to assume that there will be an extra check-spells for mind-intervention on every soldier and your spy will be soon detected. As an alternative you better keep him in captivity or even kill, in order to dispose of an enemy's combat unit.

By the way about question about morals, that killing is much worse is a very arguable point. Most of aurors, or regular soldiers likely prefer to die in the battlefield rather than being a spy and betray your country agains own will. So we may consider death as an ordinary accident, while mind intervention is some kind of torture and perversion on human nature.

  • If this is the case, why can't the ministry (whose protective charms help prevent Voldemort from attacking the Burrow until it comes under his control) have an imperius checking on its staff?
    – user46509
    Jan 11, 2016 at 10:24
  • It doesn't seem that any such checks for Imperius exist. If they did, you'd think they would be routinely done on critical Ministry staff. Yet Pius Thicknesse, head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, was Imperiused by Yaxley, and this was never detected. Feb 1, 2016 at 15:23
  • +1 just for the second paragraph. Just because something is less moral than another thing doesn't mean it's not also immoral; the morality of the two are separate. And morality is subjective as you point out. Sirius would have died before betraying his friends, for example, whereas Wormtail had no problem with betraying his friends in exchange for his life.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 4, 2017 at 22:22

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