Dune: Cultures: Bene Gesserit

The origins of the Bene Gesserit are shrouded in mystery. Again believed to originate during the Butlerian Jihad, the Bene Gesserit are an all-female sisterhood devoted to a secret Breeding Program. These ladies also manipulate political and economic situations whenever the need arises. They create missionaries on far away planets, and build a pre-constructed myth in order to serve their sisterhood should their Order ever need to visit (Missionary Protectiva).

They are also able to detect anyone who is lying, through a talent they call “Truth Sense”. All other Houses and factions refer to the Sisterhood as “Witches” an ancient term dating back to Old Earth times. Another secret is that the Bene Gesserit also employ a power called “The Voice” which can force another person to do the bidding of the person using the Voice. Bene Gesserit sisters are all capable of adjusting their body chemistry to cure any infliction. As well as feigning death, prolonging life, choosing the gender of their unborn children, and even making minor adjustments to their appearance.

Through extreme mental control, members of the sisterhood can also shift and maneuver their bodies incredibly fast. This allows them to dodge blows, weapons, projectiles and other hazards.

Their most treasured secret, the nucleus to their existence is their Breeding Program. When the Atreides and Harkonnen helped the Butlers defeat the machines the Sisterhood knew one day the two great houses would be united through their breeding program, creating the Kwizatz Haderach, the ultimate being.

All Sisters who drink the Water of Life, and survive, have the ability to see and speak with any maternal female ancestor, in their minds. These sisters are called Reverend Mothers, and they are the leaders of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood.

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Many men have tried to drink the Water of Life, they’ve all died… painfully. But one day a man would come as a product of their Breeding Program who could drink the water, and they wish to control that man. During the final Generation of the Breeding Program, one last product, a cross between male Harkonnen (Fey’d) and female Atreides (Paul) would have completed their breeding program creating the Kwizatz Haderach. Instead Jessica bore a boy and he became uncontrollable by the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood.

After this defeat they chose to take part in a conspiracy against Emperor Paul Muad’Dib eventually leading to the death of their leader Mohium (Paul’s materanl grandmother). The Sisterhood tried, unsuccessfully, for thousands of years to regain control of the Atreides bloodline.

Race Rating – Bene Gesserit
Personality 1 (rancid butter) – 5 (cool dude) 5
Attractiveness 1 (requires paper bag) – 5 (Drop-dead-gorgeous) 5
Humour 1 (stomach-turning) – 5 (sidesplitting) 2
Dress Sense 1 (laughable) – 5 (hip) 3
Aggression 1 (big/little softy) – 5 (hard as nails) 2
Social Standing 1 (scumbag) – 5 (god) 4

SadGeezer Race Rating (out of 30) = 19           

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Dune reviews are © 2003 Greg Frantz with Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

Dune names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Sci-Fi Channel, New Amsterdam Entertainment, and the assorted publishing companies who own the rights to the various Dune novels.

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