Tek-Gnostics Archives
Bene Gesserit Embassy


It was recorded in the ancient archives that the great revolt known as the Butlerian Jihad removed the crutch of AI from humanity. It forced human minds to develop. Schools were started to train human talents. There were two chief survivors of those ancient schools...  the Spacing Guild and the Bene Gesserit. The Guild, so it was written, emphasized almost pure mathematics. The Bene Gesserit performed another function. The Bene Gesserit practiced "religious engineering" through a faction called the Missionaria Protectiva, which spread contrived myths, prophecies and superstition on primitive worlds so that the Sisterhood may later exploit those regions.

The Bene Gesserit have thus existed for millennia, appearing as a semi-mystical school that trained women for service to the Galactic Empire as Truthsayers. In reality, they were subtly controlling the Galactic Empire behind the scenes in order to help humanity become more mature. Some have described the Bene Gesserit as a secretive sisterhood whose members train their bodies and minds through years of physical and mental conditioning to obtain powers and abilities that can easily seem magical to outsiders. Due to their secretive nature and misunderstood abilities, outsiders often call them witches. Trained at the Mother School on the planet Wallach IX, and later headquartered at a hidden world known as Chapterhouse, the Bene Gesserit develop their physical abilities as well as their mental abilities.

A trained Sister has full control over each muscle in her body; this is called prana-bindu training. It allows her to bend the last joint in her little toe while remaining otherwise motionless, bend and contort her body in ways that most would consider impossible, or put a remarkable amount of force behind a physical blow. The mental part of prana-bindu (prana stands for breath, bindu stands for musculature), or prana-nervature  is the precise control of the totality of nervous system within the human body.

The concept of "Voice" was a means by which Bene Gesserit could influence people by adopting certain vocal patterns to which ordinary untrained minds were exquisitely vulnerable. Voice allowed Sisters to end conflicts or to manipulate the untrained in order to influence events. Males were controlled through "imprinting" a process of sexual union that brought the male towards a greater sense of intimacy with the entire Order. Many men who were raised by Sisters were conditioned to view the Sisterhood with awe, love and were given a sense of its purpose.

Sometimes infants and young girls were presented to the Order for training by Great Houses, much as younger sons were presented to the Catholic Church in ancient times. The Order always offered to train young women (and sometimes men) of the Great Houses. Bene Gesserit were also offered as concubines for Nobles. In this way the Order influenced many Great Houses while building up political support for its causes. Many Emperors took Bene Gesserit wives or concubines. The Mother of the Kwisatz Haderach, Jessica, was a Bene Gesserit. She trained Paul in the Prana Bindu disciplines covertly, empowering him to withstand the Spice Agony and to lead the Fremen.

(Note: intelligence on the sisterhood was gleaned from Wikipedia, among other sources)



“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of Maud’ Dib, then, take care that you first place in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Maud’ Dib in his place; the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place”

 - from “Manual of Maud’ Dib” by the princess Irulan


Maud' Dib... the Kwisatz Haderach


Paul Orestes Atreides is a prominent figure in the early archival records of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. He took the Fremen name Paul Muad’Dib and the Sietch name Usul. The definition, found in the Terminology of the Imperium section of the Appendixes of Dune, defines muad’dib thus:

"The adapted kangaroo mouse of Arrakis, a creature associated in the Fremen earth-spirit mythology with a design visible on the planet’s second moon. This creature is admired by Fremen for its ability to survive in the open desert."

Paul Atreides, as Maud Dib, is the leader the people of Arrakis (the Fremen) have been waiting to appear for centuries. He is a messiah like figure of myth and legend. Maud’ Dib leads a rebellion against the empire, and frees the desert peoples of Arrakis. These desert dwellers of Dune are addicted to the spice melange. The spice causes mutations. Their eyes are deep blue from their addiction, and their level of consciousness is greater than normal beings. They have the ability to see into the future, and are in some ways omniscient. Spice is used by the navigators of the Spacing Guild in order to travel through space. The spice gives the navigators of the Spacing Guild the ability to fold space, and travel to any place in the universe without moving. 

Therefore, the spice is the most valuable substance in the universe. It extends life, expands consciousness, and is the basis for all currency. The only planet in the universe where the spice exists is Arrakis… Dune. 

Paul is more than Maud Dib. He is also the Kwisatz Haderach, long prophesized by the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. As a political power, the Bene Gesserit have their own agenda. The Kwisatz Haderach is "the male who can truly become one of us". Paul as the Kwisatz Haderach has amazing powers. He can go to places in the mind the witches of the sisterhood fear. The Bene Gesserit come to the realization that they may not be able to control Paul who has powers beyond their abilities. These powers aid Paul in helping the Fremen gain their freedom. In the second book of the chronicles Dune Messiah, Muad’dib has effectively become an emperor/god of Dune and other planets.

In the end, Paul's power turns him into both a hero and an anti-hero. The Princess Irulan says in the Arrakis Awakening:

"He was warrior and mystic, ogre and saint, the fox and the innocent, chivalrous, ruthless, less than a god, more than a man. There is no measuring Maud Dib's motives by ordinary standards. In the moment of his triumph, he saw the dead prepared for him, yet he accepted the treachery. Can you say he did this out of a sense of justice? Whose justice, then?"


 Bene Gesserit Mind-Body Lesson

It is important to remember that Paul, in his formative years, was trained in the ways of the Bene Gesserit by his mother, the Lady Jessica. What follows is a prana-bindu training exercise used by Paul as an adolescent, during the ordeal of the Gom Jabbar...

Three quick breaths triggered the responses…

He fell into the floating awareness… focusing the consciousness… aortal dilation… avoiding the unfocused mechanism of consciousness… to be conscious by choice… blood enriched and swift-flooding the overload regions… one does not obtain food-safety-freedom by instinct alone… animal consciousness does not extend beyond the given moment nor into the idea that it’s victims may become extinct… the animal destroys and does not produce… animal pleasures remain close to sensation levels and avoid the perceptual… the human requires a background grid through which to see his universe… focused consciousness by choice, this forms your grid… bodily integrity follows nerve-blood flow according to the deepest awareness of cells needs… all things/cells/beings are impermanent… strive for flow-permanence within…

And later on the sands of Arrakis as the cumulative exposure to "spice" begins to manifest within Paul's consciousness and the possibility of being the Kwisatz Haderach becomes more likely...

"Abruptly, as though he had found a necessary key, Paul's mind climbed another notch in awareness. He focused his prescient awareness, seeing it as a computation of most probable futures, but with something more... an edge of mystery... as though his mind dipped into some timeless stratum and sampled the winds of the future. It was as though he existed within a globe with avenues radiating away in all directions. He felt the heat and cold of uncounted probabilities. The thing was a spectrum of possibilities from the most remote past to the most remote future... from the most probable to the most improbable."

- taken from the writings of Frank Herbert



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