As in: what did they want to achieve with their breeding programs and "learning how to learn"? Assuming that the Kwisatz Haderach was as they intended, what was next?

  • 1
    possible duplicate here: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/208159/…
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 10, 2021 at 17:57
  • Not an exact duplicate. I'm asking about in general, as in, not just with the KH, but...what did they want, ultimately? Nov 10, 2021 at 20:03
  • I think you can look to Heretics to see what the BG endgame was. The BG continue operating as they always have, only now they have a KH super-general to act openly. Then they just kind of maintain and operate a super stable empire, which is what Leto abhorred. Nov 10, 2021 at 20:35

2 Answers 2


Rebecca and the Rabbi discuss the ultimate goal, the "grail", of the Bene Gesserit in Heretics of Dune.

"That is wisdom. What is it the lady says they seek?"

"Influence on the maturing of humankind."

[...] Perhaps they have been too long on the road to Damascus without a blinding flash of illumination, Rebecca. I hear them say they act for the benefit of humankind. Somehow, I cannot see this in them, nor do I believe the Tyrant saw it."

When Rebecca started to reply, he stopped her with an upraised hand. "Mature humanity? That is their grail? Is it not the mature fruit that is plucked and eaten?"

Odrade says something similar in Chapterhouse Dune:

Survival of humankind took precedence over survival of the Sisterhood. Else our grail of human maturity is meaningless.

The Bene Gesserit say and truly believe they "exist only to serve." To them, that means guiding humanity to "maturation." The Bene Gesserit do not seek direct power or control over the affairs of mankind except insofar as it is necessary to achieve their long term goals - they believe that would only make them a target and lead to their destruction.

  • That's not in Heretics, did you mean Chapterhouse?
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 20, 2022 at 10:46

Their plan was total political and religious power:

As the Bene Gesserit taught for centuries, long before they ran afoul of the Freman:

"When religion and politics ride in the same cart, when that cart is driven by a holy man (baraka), nothing can stand in their path."

  • Appendix II: The Religion of Dune
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    Is that means or ends?
    – Lexible
    Nov 10, 2021 at 17:34
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    I'm not sure on this one. Early on Jessica eschews controlling Leto Sr. using voice (or otherwise) because that would make him into a puppet. Presumably if they wanted to, they could bloodlessly seize power by controlling the major houses and the Emperor
    – Valorum
    Nov 10, 2021 at 18:29
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    to that point, Jessica is shown to be more of a loose canon in terms of doing what she is told. Certainly yes, using the Voice would allow, for example, the Emperor's Truthsayer to control the Emperor himself, but control over entire timelines for ages untold via the K. Haderach? The quote above certainaly seems to indicate my premise, but it is a small pull from an appendix so I understand the reticence. I ignore all content after book 3 so there may be more there in the...other...books
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 10, 2021 at 18:55
  • @Valorum also, I don't think they would be able to reach this goal with the Voice, as it is possible to resist it (either via training and ability or via technology (cone of silence))
    – Pieter
    Nov 11, 2021 at 15:11
  • 2
    The Bene Gesserit explicitly renounce direct power.
    – Shamshiel
    Nov 13, 2021 at 0:03

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