Bene Tleilax

The Bene Tleilax or the Tleilaxu are an organization of the fictional universe of the saga of novels based on the Dune Universe created by Frank Herbert . It is a closed society of religious fanatics impregnated with secrecy, whose specialty is genetic engineering , what they call “The Language of God.” The Bene Tleilax is despised by all factions, owing to its reputation as perverse and amoral , which proceeds from Butlerian Jihad and they themselves promote.


The Tleilaxu have their origin several hundred years before the Butlerian Jihad and of the creation of the Space brotherhood and the Empire of the Known Universe . His home planet, Tleilax, is in the system of the star Thalim . The capital of Tleilax is the holy city of Bandalong .

The Tleilaxu in the Jihad

In the trilogy Legends of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson , Dune: The Butlerian Jihad , Dune: The Crusade of Machines and Dune: The Battle of Corrin , the Tlulaxas, as they are called at the time, are presented as a Society of merchants settled in Tlulax , unique planet of the system Thalim. The Tlulaxa are expert geneticists, and acquire a good reputation by providing the League of Nobles with bio-synthetic human organs for the vast number of soldiers and citizens wounded during Jihad . In later times of this period, the amorality and perversion of the tlulaxa is manifested, as it is shown that the high productivity of their “organ farms” is due to the fact that most of the organs come from hunting and capture Of humans from non-aligned worlds , mostly zensunnis, and even some planets from the Noble League, according to Iblis Ginjo and the organization of the Yipol – Jihad police – although the latter is not in the public domain.

They are religious fanatics and the citizens of the upper caste, the Masters, are Buddhist Zensufis. They also create gholas of their best scientists and leaders as a form of immortality and preservation and gholas for other “powindah” (impure) organizations .


The Tleilaxu are an eusocial meritocracy . Access to the upper caste is achieved by merit, demonstrating superior capabilities. In this way the character of Scytale , the face dancer who confirms the possibility of awakening the memories of a ghola in The Messiah of Dune, could be explained . Later, in Herejes de Dune he appears as Master tleilaxu, forming part of the high council of the Bene Tleilax, and later as the last living Master, refugee between the Bene Gesserit .

As in certain insects , the phenomenon of reproductive specialization occurs in the Tleilaxu . In a sense, the Tleilaxu are socially asexual . Since the beginning of its history, women were relegated to mere reproductive receptacles not mind . When the reproductive age arrives, they are induced a chemical cerebral coma and connect to support and maintenance teams, becoming the so-called axlotl tanks , one of its biotechnological milestones .

The upper caste, the Masters, are those who control the genetic and social heritage of the community, and reproduce themselves using the ghola process, perpetuating their memories over millennia. The face dancers, a human subspecies developed through genetic engineering , are a large sterile breed at the service of the community. In between, the domel, the general population, an intermediate caste of humans.

Honored Matres

Main article: Honored Matres

In Hunters of Dune explained that a combined group of Bene Gesserit and chatty-fish of the Scattering capture a Tleilaxu planet. Discovering the axlotl tanks and their true nature, they release them and manage to recover some of them. The Tleilaxu women join the group, and upon discovering their own history, the thirst for revenge towards the male ones that enslaved them takes possession of them. The slaves in power become slave masters, and the asexual society of the Tleilaxu respond by enslaving men through sexual priming. In memory of the generations of Tleilaxu women, martyrs in their history, they decided to call themselves Honored Matres .

Technology Tleilaxu

Genetic engineering

The Tleilaxu are brilliant scientists in genetic engineering. They see their science as The Language of God , the tool that will lift them against the impure. Therefore, they always create tiny errors intentionally in their clones , never to equate the perfection of their God. They have developed a series of human tools and servers, such as the gholas, clones developed from human cells that can retrieve the memories and personality of the original, and Face Dancers , morphocambian hermaphrodite eunuchs .

Axlotl tanks

An axlotl tank is a woman who has been induced a chemical coma and other operations to kill her brain and allow manipulation and control of her uterus as a tank to create gholas . The extensive use of their women in this sense explains why no foreigner has ever seen a Tleilaxu woman. The Bene Tleilax has jealously guarded all its secrets, and especially its axlotl technology.

The main use of axlotl tanks is the decantation of clones . When these clones are produced from cells of a dead person they are called ghola. From the axlotl tanks come the face dancers and other creatures developed by the Tleilaxu.

In the trilogy Prelude to Dune , a Tleilaxu researcher, Hidar Ben Ajidica , uses axlotl technology to try to create synthetic melange . Instead, get the Ajidamal or Amal , a similar substance that proves to be ineffective.

In Heretics of Dune , it is evident that the Tleilaxu have developed the ability to produce melange in axlotl tanks, thus breaking the monopoly of the spice that Arrakis has retained for thousands of years and which has served to tightly control the economy and politics Empire. Later, in Capitular Dune , the Bene Gesserit have acquired the Axlotl technology of Master Scytale, although this one reserves the necessary modifications to produce spice. Thus, the best kept secret of the Tleilaxu is revealed: that tanks are horribly mutated and modified women. With its own tanks, the Bene Gesserit develops the ghola of the late Bashar Miles Teg.

In Hunters of Dune , it is discovered that Tleilaxu women, recovered from their condition of axlotl tanks by Bene Gesserits and Fish-Talkers , are at the origin of the terrible Honored Matres . Despite this, the Honored Matres rebels use their axlotl tanks, developed from prisoners Bene Gesserit, to produce the substance based on the adrenaline they take. Also conserved eight clones of the Master tleilaxu Waff , transformed like a masculine axlotl tank, like reserve of tleilaxu sperm .

The axlotl tanks are similar to the reproduction tanks of another novel by Herbert, Project 40 (Hellstrom’s Hive) , 1973.

Synthetic Melange

During the Prelude to Dune trilogy , the Tleilaxu, with the support of the Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, try to break the Monarch of the Melange of Arrake, initiating a research project to produce synthetic melange using Axlotl technology, the Amal project. They manage to develop a compound similar to melange, called amal or ajidamal , but the researcher in charge dies before revealing the secret. In addition, imperfections in the drug cause the loss of a spacecraft when its pilot is affected when making the jump, not knowing that the spice has been replaced by the new compound in an attempt to verify their full compatibility.

However, following Dune Heretics, it is confirmed that the tleilaxu have been able to modify the axlotl technology to produce synthetic melange, chemically identical to the original and with identical properties. Later, in Dune sandworms, Master Waff’s ghola develops for the confraternity a new species of worms, these aquatics, which they introduce to Buzzell to produce “Ultraespecia”, a compound similar to spice but much more concentrated.

Bibliographic reference

  • Frank Herbert , Dune . Barcelona: Ediciones Debolsillo, 2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-682-4
  • Frank Herbert , The Messiah of Dune . Ediciones Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-667-1
  • Frank Herbert , Sons of Dune . Ediciones Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-432-5
  • Frank Herbert , God Emperor of Dune . Ediciones Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-748-7
  • Frank Herbert , Dune Heretics . Ediciones Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-731-9
  • Frank Herbert , Chapterhouse Dune . Ediciones Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-770-8
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune: The Atreides House . Best Seller Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-316-8
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune: The Harkonnen House . Best Seller Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2003. ISBN 978-84-9759-347-2
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune: The Corrino House . Best Seller Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2004. ISBN 978-84-9793-246-2
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune: The Butler Jihad . Best Seller Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2005. ISBN 978-84-9793-672-9
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune: The Crusade of Machines . Best Seller Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2007. ISBN 978-84-8346-365-9
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune: The Battle of Corrin . Best Seller Debolsillo: Barcelona, ​​2007. ISBN 978-84-01-33636-2
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune Hunters . Plaza & Janés, Barcelona, ​​2008. ISBN 978-84-01-33679-9
  • Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson Dune Sandworms . Plaza & Janés, Barcelona, ​​2009. ISBN 978-84-01-33727-7