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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.


The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bene Gesserit Organizing Online...

Frank Herbert has inspired many people with his descriptions of human beings who developed "more than human" capabilities through training and intensely adverse environments. A free novel, reviewed elsewhere on this blog, describes his ideas about the importance of developing superhumans and how he believed you could do so. One group, calling itself the Bene Gesserit after a sisterhood with extraordinary mastery of body and mind in Herbert's novels, has recently gotten back to work on developing modern Bene Gesserit.

Here is the Bene Gesserit Training Manual by Daniel Fletcher (generated with contributions from the entire "Bene Gesserit" group) linked on its homepage:


Apparently also found at:


Personally, I had to use the first link to get there. This is a substantial download, being over 215 pages long.

This manual is described as a work in progress, and hence feedback will no doubt be welcome at the Bene Gesserit's web forum. I'm not sure how much is in there to simulate the Bene Gesserit as described by Herbert and how much was conceived as practical methods to achieve Bene-Gesserit-like talents. Personally, I'm not too thrilled with some of the discussions about manipulation, sexuality, politics and religion (to be fair, I didn't really examine the more distateful elements), but since this manual is about methods of self-enhancement, I decided to cover it here and let my readers, if interested, be the judge. On the positive side, it seems to have quite a bit of useful information if you're interested in becoming a highly trained agent capable of infiltration, surveillance, martial arts, etc.

I haven't yet had a chance to test out the manual's version of the Truthsense ability, which appears to be heavily based on body language cues, total analysis of the speaker, and so forth, but this might be more effective if based on some obscure self-hypnosis techniques. I really don't know, I haven't had the chance to compare each technique's effectiveness. Oddly enough, the martial arts and internal energy work aspects of the manual seem to be among its best thought out features... though naturally the real test of that would be in face-to-face training (otherwise, everyone would get their black belt from a book =) ). As with many such works this sudden display of insight is perhaps unsurprising... the authors may simply be best at what they've got the most personal experience with (and the most easily assimilated resources to draw upon).

As a guidebook for an organization as yet in the theoretical stages, this manual is quite intriguing. I will agree with the primary author that it is far from complete, but until an actual Bene Gesserit organization forms and is actively training, that is almost inevitable. Still, this is an interesting example of the kind of self-optimization system a group might come up with on its own, and may provide potential students with some good ideas.

Here's an impressive workbook on becoming a Mentat (human computer) by James Meritt. I believe you'll have to sign up for Yahoo Groups (for free) to get it. This download is over 230 pages long and a very thorough conception (from one person's point of view) of how to create a Mentat using modern mental disciplines, strategies and resources. The text ranges from mnemonic (memorization) techniques, to speed math tricks to strategies for negotiation, time management and self-control, to advice on smart drugs and nutrients.

While there are likely powerful elements that could be added to this system if the user knew about them... and/or had substantial financial resources (to explore self-hypnosis, "mindtech" such as sensory deprivation tanks, etc), this is a very good examination of how a normal, reasonably intelligent human being could conceivably self-train until they had access to Mentat-level skills. Which is saying a great deal indeed.

A few other comments and ideas on Mentats can be found on this Wiki page. Basically, this page gives you links to a few more techniques you could conceivably use to develop Mentat talents, but nothing like the overview, coherence and depth found in the above Mentat handbook.

Future Imperative


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the links arent working! please, what how do i get the bene gesserit manual?!

August 17, 2006 3:18 PM  
Blogger Ralph Cerchione said...

Unfortunately, it appears to have disappeared from the Net entirely. I haven't read the full text, however, and I don't know that it ever reflected more than one person's general ideas about the Bene Gesserit in any event.

I suppose I could post a link to a proposed Mentat training manual (or you could Google that phrase)...

August 18, 2006 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the mentat work stated, i've already dug myself into, and it's fairly interesting. i suppose that you dont know anybody with a copy of the bene gesserit manual on file. in any case, thank you for directing my attention to the mentat one at lease!

August 24, 2006 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello , greetings from the vulcan Mentat group.This is the website hosting the Mentat Handbook and is now also hosting the The Bene Gesserit Training Manual.ALso note the path of Surak



August 13, 2007 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the modern bene gesserit ever surface? it seems that any traces of this organisation have completely dissapeared!

October 16, 2009 1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same. I use to be part of the forum but it vanished years ago and I've not been able to find any other members. I've thinking of starting it up again myself or something similar though I'm starting to think the downfall of the original was one of dedication and not being able to find people to start local chapters and personal lives got in the way. It's a big task to take on solo and needs to be done with local groups reporting to one another.
If anyone is interested my email is adeanyin@yahoo.com.

October 16, 2009 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone willing to cooperate in this field, please contact me at andrejdam @ gmail . com

I am searching for people around the globe for turning the BG initiative serious and in working mode.

June 24, 2010 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A free novel, reviewed elsewhere on this blog, describes his ideas about the importance of developing superhumans and how he believed you could do so."

No he didn't, on the contrary he tried to show the dangers of that.
Frank said don't do cults with my books, so just find something else, there is already a hack butt raping Dune, don't add insult to injury thank you !

March 07, 2011 10:50 AM  
Blogger Viathon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 29, 2011 9:45 AM  
Blogger Viathon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 29, 2011 9:46 AM  
Blogger Viathon said...

Allow me to say that firstly the Bene Gesserit Training manual is still available, merely search for it. Secondly that there is an Order similar to it that is more focused on the development of the human machine in its every natural capacity. Tacitum Magi. The training is hard and life consuming but the results lead to nothing short of the perfection of self. The nature of nature is perfect imperfection. This will not be found on the internet, but the Silent Path is there for anyone to walk.

July 29, 2011 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting that an organisation of women has a male who wrote the outline. This strongly suggests another male power construct to further isolate females towards control in a different format. However Daniel's outline adheres quite strongly to the Herbert overview of his perception of the Order.

Personally, i think the elements are there, but must be rewritten from a female mindset, in a woman's language and experience.

Women have a different level of connectedness, and this is missing 'je ne sais quoi' - and from this perspective, a lack of real experience of 'service' to others. 36 hours is nothing.

130 hours plus should be a minimal, over 200 hours is the usual for most community service organisations qualifications.

My first and only suggestion is to read ALL the novels by the original Author, once read and considered deeply - questions around the discordance of Herbert's later works, will definitely permit further conversations and deeper research for those that would choose to be BG or who which to 'come out' as one.
Your Sister

June 12, 2013 11:31 AM  
Blogger Erik Kohler said...

I realize this is pretty old, but I was deeply intruiged by the Bene Gesserit from the start, from the first moment I read a Dune novel.
They also remind me a lot of the Aes Sedai in WoT (though Bene Gesserit were obviously earlier), and I am delighted to have found this manual and this amazing sea of information.
The little bits I extracted from the books never appeared to be enough, though the famous litany against fear actually helped me in times of great anxiety or fear.

I realize however, that the Bene Gesserit are originally a women's society, and I -lol- am not a woman. I wonder if there will ever be a modern version if men will be allowed too, or whether they might get a separate 'branch', maybe?

Anyway, cool stuff! Just wanted to say I really like this manual! It's very interesting!

December 17, 2014 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have it on adobe, but don't know how to upload it from my tablet.

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