The Bene Gesserit sisterhood show similarities to orders of Catholic or Buddhist nuns, with their discipline, austerity, and high levels of education and organization ("gesserit" possibly alluding to the Jesuits), yet they also appear to have some sort of Middle Eastern influence. Their name could be Latin for "one who conducted herself properly", yet the word 'bene' is also very similar to Hebrew/Arabic for "children of -". E.g., in Arabic the name could mean "children of the peninsula". Some other points of interest:
- their ideal evolved human is a messiah-figure referred to with a Hebrew term, K'fitzat haDerech, which means (very appropriately) "a shortcut";
- in spite of not being very well-liked or trusted, BG's skills are so useful that sisters are important members of most courts and other associations of elites (like Jewish courtiers during the Middle Ages);
- very interested in bloodlines and lineages, similar to Jews and Muslims;
- they embody some common anti-Semitic stereotypes, the most prominent being their association with sinister magic ("witches"), use of casuistry ("Talmudic logic"), and that all BG members, wherever they are, comprise a secret cabal loyal only to itself, that conspires to control humanity and its development, for its own mysterious ends.
Given all this, what are the BG's origins (philosophically/religously, rather than ethnically) in the Dune universe?