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The Tleilaxu and their Prophet


MrFlibble
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I'm re-reading GEoD currently, and, knowing the Tleilaxu true nature, I wonder what their plan with the attempt on Leto's life really was. Were they simply trying to add to the image of the "stupid, vile, dirty Tleilaxu", or was there a greater scheme behind this (e.g. divert attention from other matters)?

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  • 1 month later...

Well i think that the Tleilaxu trying to highlight their theories.

As we know they are religious fanatics.

At the time of Leto II's reign, no one outside the Tleilaxu, save for himself, knew the true nature of their society. And besides, they regarded him as their Prophet, the God's Messenger, then why would they want to kill him?

PS: Machines are evil? What would the Harkonnen say xD

I don't get it. I did not mention any machines..?

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  • 2 months later...

The only Waff's flashnack to Leto II's times I remember is this:

From its inception, from that infinitesimal kernel of an idea, Bene Tleilax leaders had understood the perils of a plan so extended, so protracted, so convoluted and subtle. They had known they must surmount near disaster time and again, accept galling losses, submissions and humiliations. All of this and much more had gone into the construction of a particular Bene Tleilax image. By those millennia of pretense they had created a myth.

"The vile, detestable, dirty Tleilaxu! The stupid Tleilaxu! The predictable Tleilaxu! The impetuous Tleilaxu!"

Even the Prophet's minions had fallen prey to this myth. A captive Fish Speaker had stood in this very room and shouted at a Tleilaxu Master: "Long pretense creates a reality! You are truly vile!" So they had killed her and the Prophet did nothing.

From this I had the impression that the BT revered Leto II as their Prophet already during his reign.

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The only Waff's flashnack to Leto II's times I remember is this:From this I had the impression that the BT revered Leto II as their Prophet already during his reign.

That proves nothing.  By your logic if I said "Jesus Christ's apostle Paul started the Catholic Church" that would mean my ancestors, the Scots, worshipped Jesus as the Christus when Paul started his church, which is incredibly untrue.  They call Leto the prophet because they believe now that he is their prophet.

There's also no telling when that incident occured.  Fish speakers still existed at the time of Heretics and were still "the  Prophet's minions" even though he was dead.  The tlielaxu hated Letoas much as everyone else when he was alive, and tried several times to assasinate him.  They converted after his death, as seems to be the way with many religions.

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That proves nothing.  By your logic if I said "Jesus Christ's apostle Paul started the Catholic Church" that would mean my ancestors, the Scots, worshipped Jesus as the Christus when Paul started his church, which is incredibly untrue.  They call Leto the prophet because they believe now that he is their prophet.

I did not say this quote was incontrovertible proof to my statement. I said I had an impression that they already regarded Leto II as their Prophet, and pointed to the passage that made me think so. So far I cannot prove or disprove the matter in question, it requires a more thorough investigation of the text.

There's also no telling when that incident occured.  Fish speakers still existed at the time of Heretics and were still "the  Prophet's minions" even though he was dead.

Erm...

Even the Prophet's minions had fallen prey to this myth. A captive Fish Speaker had stood in this very room and shouted at a Tleilaxu Master: "Long pretense creates a reality! You are truly vile!" So they had killed her and the Prophet did nothing.

 

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I did not say this quote was incontrovertible proof to my statement. I said I had an impression that they already regarded Leto II as their Prophet, and pointed to the passage that made me think so. So far I cannot prove or disprove the matter in question, it requires a more thorough investigation of the text.

Erm... 

Your point?

Replace "the Prophet" with Jesus, God, Jupiter, Mithras, whomever you want.  Have you never heard someone say "Why didn't Jesus/God/whomever do something?"  Does that mean that they're walking around downtown Paris right now?  No, it mean's they're religious, supernatural beings whom people beleive can intervine despite the fact that there (in the case of Jesus or Leto II) physical bodies are long dead. 

Btw:  I accidentally hit "modify" instead of "quote" when replying to your message, that is why there is a notice stating I edited it.  I removed everything I had written and put it in this post.  If I deleted something of yours I apologize.

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Replace "the Prophet" with Jesus, God, Jupiter, Mithras, whomever you want.  Have you never heard someone say "Why didn't Jesus/God/whomever do something?"  Does that mean that they're walking around downtown Paris right now?  No, it mean's they're religious, supernatural beings whom people beleive can intervine despite the fact that there (in the case of Jesus or Leto II) physical bodies are long dead.

I think you're mixing up the notions of "prophet" and "god". Prophets are generally not expected to perform acts of divine intervention. Have you never heard someone say "Why didn't Abraham/Moses/Samuel/Ezekiel do something?"

If you mean that the Tleilaxu expected Leto II to somehow "punish" them or act in any other way after his death, that would mean they truly believed him to be an immortal God, wouldn't it? However, it is explicitly stated in Heretics he was a Prophet to them, not God. And if you take into account the strong Islamic roots of the Tleilaxu religion, such an assumption makes even less sense.

Btw:  I accidentally hit "modify" instead of "quote" when replying to your message, that is why there is a notice stating I edited it.  I removed everything I had written and put it in this post.  If I deleted something of yours I apologize.

That's okay, my post seems not to have been altered in any way :)

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I think you're mixing up the notions of "prophet" and "god". Prophets are generally not expected to perform acts of divine intervention. Have you never heard someone say "Why didn't Abraham/Moses/Samuel/Ezekiel do something?"

If you mean that the Tleilaxu expected Leto II to somehow "punish" them or act in any other way after his death, that would mean they truly believed him to be an immortal God, wouldn't it? However, it is explicitly stated in Heretics he was a Prophet to them, not God. And if you take into account the strong Islamic roots of the Tleilaxu religion, such an assumption makes even less sense.

Not at all.

1)  Leto II's prophetic powers are so incredible that it is a reasonable assumption on the Tlielaxu's part that he did know they were going to kidnap and murder a Fish Speaker and that if he wanted them to have been punished for it, they would have been.

2)  People pray to individuals other than "God" for intervention all of the time.  Look at the Virgin Mary or any of the catholic saints.

3)  I'm absolutely positive that both Waff in Heretics and Scytale in Chapterhouse make multiple references to Leto preserving them and testign the Tlielaxu people.

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1)  Leto II's prophetic powers are so incredible that it is a reasonable assumption on the Tlielaxu's part that he did know they were going to kidnap and murder a Fish Speaker and that if he wanted them to have been punished for it, they would have been.

Do you mean that Waff thinks about an event that happened after Leto II's death, and supposes that Leto II could have punished them for it in advance when he was still alive, but he did not? Don't you think this is a quite a bit overcomplicated compared to the assumption that the events Waff remembers took place during Leto II's reign?

And don't you also think that a much easier way to counter my argument would be to say that Waff calls Leto II "Prophet" from his own standpoint of several thousand years after those events, and this passage alone thus cannot prove that the Tleilaxu of Leto II's time really revered him as their Prophet and did not just perceived him as a "Tyrant" like everyone else did?

That just simplifies things a lot, eh? ;)

2)  People pray to individuals other than "God" for intervention all of the time.  Look at the Virgin Mary or any of the catholic saints.

Saints and prophets are quite different phenomena. Still, I don't understand why you continue to provide examples from Christianity while Sunni Islam, Sufism and/or Zen Buddhism would be more appropriate when we're talking about the Tleilaxu.

3)  I'm absolutely positive that both Waff in Heretics and Scytale in Chapterhouse make multiple references to Leto preserving them and testign the Tlielaxu people.

Scytale thinks about God, not Leto II, testing him and his people.

I think we have diverged from the subject matter. Which is, why did the Tleilaxu try to assassinate Leto II?

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They only started worshipping him after his death.

I do not completely deny this assumption as improbable 9quite the contrary, this might be the case), but I have some doubts about this because the Tleilaxu are described as highly dogmatic in their religion by the Bene Gesserit in Heretics "A pattern frozen in millennia", as Taraza puts it). BTW, I think this is the reason why Frank decided to wipe 'em all out save for Scytale in Chapterhouse, implying that their civilization, based on an unchanging religious dogma, was ultimately doomed despite their scientific and technological advancements. In this respect, I think that a change in their religious teachings introduced in only some 1500 years was at least suspicious.

However, many aspects of the BT society and religion were not expanded upon in the last books, so there might be insufficient information to make a correct judgment. (For example, they might have started revering Leto II as a martyr first, then decided he was a Prophet). This is only my impression that they had always revered him, but if some passage supporting (or disproving) your idea would be found, that would be a very nice answer to the question, or at least a step towards such an answer.

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I skimmed briefly through some of the chapters, and I think I found what I was thinking of earlier. It's not Waff thinking, but Taraza talking to Waff and suddenly realizing that the Tleilaxu revere LetoII as their prophet.

The Tyrant! She closed her mouth into a grim line. "What one cannot control one must accept," she said.

"For surely that is God's doing," Waff replied.

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MrFibble, you're technically correct.  A Millenia is multiple melleniums. 1500 years is a millenium and a half.  But I think you're taking too much based on that one word.  GEOD was 1500 years before Heretics according to the books and your own admission.  1500 years is a very, very very long time.  Just look at our own history.  It makes complete sense to me for the Tlielaxu to convert over a period of a few hundred years during the famine times to a strict and dogmatic religion.  "Famine times" and the like are when such conversions usually happen.  What doesn't make any sense is for them to Worship Leto at the time of his reign.

1)  They tried to kill him.  Pretty big sign right there they didn't worship him.

2)  Does it not say in GEOD that this was not the first attempt?

3)  The Tlielaxu were in the midst some sort of societal upheavel during GEOD, as is quite clearly stated in the book by Leto.  The Tlielaxu of GEOD are not nearly as clever or intelligent as those of even a few generations before.  Leto says that right after the attack.  

Cataclysmic event and massive societal change.  Two damn good ingredients to cause the adoptation of a new religion and the need to adhere to it, um, religiously.  But, like everything else, I'm sure we're never going to agree on this.

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MrFibble, you're technically correct.  A Millenia is multiple melleniums. 1500 years is a millenium and a half.  But I think you're taking too much based on that one word.  GEOD was 1500 years before Heretics according to the books and your own admission.  1500 years is a very, very very long time.  Just look at our own history.  It makes complete sense to me for the Tlielaxu to convert over a period of a few hundred years during the famine times to a strict and dogmatic religion.  "Famine times" and the like are when such conversions usually happen.

Yes, this was not impossible for them to "change thier minds" on the subject of Leto II, but the possibility alone is not proof.

What doesn't make any sense is for them to Worship Leto at the time of his reign.

1)  They tried to kill him.  Pretty big sign right there they didn't worship him.

2)  Does it not say in GEOD that this was not the first attempt?

3)  The Tlielaxu were in the midst some sort of societal upheavel during GEOD, as is quite clearly stated in the book by Leto.  The Tlielaxu of GEOD are not nearly as clever or intelligent as those of even a few generations before.  Leto says that right after the attack.

It is stated in Heretics (in the passage I quoted before) that they were actually creating an image. Whatever they did was not necessary what they intended to do. By the way, it is also specifically stated that they intentionally created an image of a people not clever or intelligent, as you put it. So I think, in regard of what we learn from Heretics, the Tleilaxu cannot be judged by their actions.

Cataclysmic event and massive societal change.  Two damn good ingredients to cause the adoptation of a new religion and the need to adhere to it, um, religiously.

Once again, it is clearly stated in the chapter where we first encounter Waff in Heretics that the Tleilaxu preserved their religion and even the language, islamiyat, unchanged through a time period that encompassed Muad'Dib's and Leto II's times, and even before that. What is certainly plausible is that they could have not started the veneration of Leto II as God's Messenger before Leto II was actually born, although they might have projected some of the already existing prophesies and images from their religion on him.

I don't think they thought of LetoII as their prophet while he was still alive, only afterwards. I think Waff "mentions" this (in his thoughts) somewhere in Heretics, but I'm not sure.

I skimmed briefly through some of the chapters, and I think I found what I was thinking of earlier. It's not Waff thinking, but Taraza talking to Waff and suddenly realizing that the Tleilaxu revere LetoII as their prophet.

Here's a bit broader context from that passage:

Waff studied her face, trying to read in that Bene Gesserit mask some confirmation of the things implied by her words and manner. She was powindah, he reminded himself. The powindah could never be trusted... but if she shared the Great Belief...

"Did God not send His Prophet to Rakis, there to test us and teach us?" he asked.

Taraza delved deep into her Other Memories. A Prophet on Rakis? Muad'dib? No... that did not square with either Sufi or Zensunni beliefs in...

The Tyrant! She closed her mouth into a grim line. "What one cannot control one must accept," she said.

"For surely that is God's doing," Waff replied.

Taraza had seen and heard enough. The Missionaria Protectiva had immersed her in every known religion. Other Memories reinforced this knowledge and filled it out. She felt a great need to get herself safely away from this room. Odrade must be alerted!

Waff does say that God had sent a Prophet to Rakis, the Prophet being Leto II. It does not indicate if Leto II was immediately recognized as such by the Tleilaxu or not.

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  • 10 months later...

Yes, the Tlielaxu adopted Leto as a prophet sometime after his death, and between GEod and Heretics was 1500 years. 1500 BUSY years, much more social and economic change than during the 3500 years of Leto's reign or the 10,000 years of the Corrinos before that.

Is it too much to ask that you spell the damned names correctly?

(Going to be playing thread-necromancer here, too? rolleyes.gif )

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