There are somewhat similar questions but I'm asking specifically. If the Bene Gesserit bred the guy and they know that he sees the future, why are they utterly opposed to the Golden Path? I realize they had plans of using the Kwisatz Haderach for their own purposes, but when they realized humanity was going to be wiped out wouldn't they figure that needs to be solved first? They don't believe Paul or Leto II that it's the only way for humanity to survive? They do believe it but they don't care if humanity survives so long as they gain some power before before humanity is wiped out?

Everything else about the Bene Gesserit is wisdom and long term planning. How could they just ignore the worst disaster possible? Do they ever discuss it? "Well Leto II's prescience is faulty, we believe that if we could take over the universe, we could avert this disaster." "Leto II made up a story about a disaster to just to take over the universe." "Humanity will be wiped out in 2,000yrs but at least the Bene Gesserit could rule until then if only the Kwisatz Haderach would look out for us."

If Leto II and Paul never told them then why is that? Somehow that's part of the Golden Path that the Bene Gesserit need to be kept in the dark or it won't work out the way they plan it? Why would that be?


To address the question that Richard’s answer didn’t:

If Leto II and Paul never told them then why is that? Somehow that's part of the Golden Path that the Bene Gesserit need to be kept in the dark or it won't work out the way they plan it? Why would that be?

Leto’s tyrrany is a gargantuan zero-approval gambit aimed at providing an intense historical lesson to humanity that prescience, dependency on one resource (spice), universal centralism, religious worship of individuals and a few other things are to be avoided. If it became common knowledge that this lesson was staged, it could very well render it moot and at least make it less effective. If I recall correctly, Moneo was the only person ever to be informed about the true nature of the Golden Path.

While the Bene Gesserit have proven to be good at keeping secrets, informing them would still pose a risk. Moreover the difficulty would arise that they have to keep pretending that they are oppressed by Leto just like everybody else. Finally, Leto also wants to teach a lesson to the Bene Gesserit, which they only begin to realise thousands of years after his death (during the events of Heretics and Chapterhouse).


There have been some good answers already, but I'd like to provide another option in addition to these.

The truth might destroy the BG.

In Dune Messiah, Scytale says the Bene Tleilax created a Kwisatz Haderach of their own.

"Because we once bred a kwisatz haderach of our own," Scytale said.

With a quick movement of her old head, the Reverend Mother looked up at him. "You didn't tell us that!" she accused.

"You didn't ask," Scytale said.

"How did you overcome your kwisatz haderach?" Irulan asked.

"A creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation," Scytale said.

"I do not understand," Edric ventured.

"He killed himself," the Reverend Mother growled.

Keep in mind, this is early in Dune Messiah, when Paul is considered the Kwisatz Haderach.

We don't know if the Tleilaxu KH grappled with the same "terrible purpose" that Paul did, but whether he did or not, they both were suicidal.

The BG has spent thousands of years breeding & training humans towards the goal of a new level of prescience. They have worked tirelessly to shape human governments and society for their purpose. After countless generations of work, they actually succeeded, and created a Kwisatz Haderach (or two).

How would they react when Leto tells them their new to-do list?

  • breed out prescience
  • eliminate the need for spice
  • invent navigation computers & no-ships
  • leave the empire forever and never return

Thanks for the millenia of work, BG, now you can get to work on doing the opposite. Remove what you bred in, wean yourself from your wonderdrug, embrace heretical machinery, and then blast off into the blackness of space.

So, there's a fair possibility they would collapse when faced becoming the antithesis of themselves. Leto needed them to help fulfill these goals, but he instead chose to manipulate them into doing so.

  • 2
    OK, OK I agree. You've covered it. – Joe C Aug 20 '15 at 4:29
  • 1
    Note that it’s very likely that Scytale was lying, in particular as this Tleilaxu Kwisatz Haderach was never mentioned again. This does not invalidate this answer in any way, however. – Wrzlprmft Aug 20 '15 at 8:19
  • Maybe so, but consider the abilities shown by Duncan Idaho, a Tleilaxu creation, at the end of Chapterhouse. Scytale's line could have been foreshadowing, but we'll never know. – friggle Aug 20 '15 at 21:50

There are two different questions here. I'll take them each in order:

Why didn't the BG institute their own Golden Path?

Simply put, they didn't see the disaster coming. Their own prescience is pretty poor and while they can see 'something' is on the horizon, it's so indistinct that they need to come up with a solution. They've investigated the Guild's solution (making themselves inhuman) and rejected it. Their own solution is to breed a human with advanced presience; The Kwisatz Haderach.

Why do the BG keep trying to kill Leto II?

It's not entirely clear what Leto had shared with the BG. On several occasions they implore him to share his plans with them so they can avoid pissing him off.

Our address to him will continue to be:
“Tell us if we threaten you that we may desist.”
“Tell us of your grand plan that we may help.”
He has provided no new answers to either question during this period.

One of their most honoured sisters is someone who seems to have quelled his anger with them after a disastrous (and incompetent) attempt on his life. He even states that he considered killing them all.

They're walking the tightrope. They don't want the universe to end in cataclysm, but nor do they want to be under Leto's flipper, nor do they want Leto to get so hacked off that he murders them all. And let's not forget that in extremis they can always breed another KH so killing Leto doesn't necessarily destroy the bloodline

  • sorry, but "Why didn't the BG institute their own Golden Path?" does not sound like what OP is asking at all. Instead it should be something like "Why did Paul/Leto II not explain the Golden Path to the BG". – Justin C Aug 17 '15 at 12:55
  • @justinc - I'm addressing why the BG seem to be attempting to stymie Leto's plans. – Valorum Aug 17 '15 at 13:22

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