With our current knowledge of the Jesuit order there is seen many similarities drawn between the the Jesuits and the Bene Gesserit. Herbert was educated by the Jesuits and no doubt named the Bene Gesserit after the Jesuits, as Gesserit is a near phonetic match to Jesuit. The Bene Gesserit are also a pseudo political/religious organization. Both operate by indirect means of control using influence and manipulation. The Bene Gesserit often employ sexual temptation to achieve their means using sex as a method of political maneuvering. Just as the Jesuits, the Bene Gesserit choose to remain largely hidden from public scrutiny by not ruling openly. This allows much of their true motives to remain hidden.
They are obsessed with their Breeding Program. They have large amounts of secret knowledge which they keep well guarded from the public such as secret histories, technologies, and their mental "enlightenment". It is seen today that the Jesuits are behind the suppression of secret information such as emerging technology, rewritten histories, and suppression of natural health and ancient traditions such as Qi Gong, Tradition Chinese Medicine, Shamanism etc which can lead to mental "enlightenment". The Jesuits are also in direct or indirect control of the bloodlines of the ruling classes and DNA manipulation. They also promote contraceptives, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, and restricted access to inexpensive, effective medical care. The Bene Gesserit believe that through their Breeding Program they can produce a godlike creature called Kwisatz Haderach which can be all places at all times.
What is similar about the Jesuits and Bene Gesserit is their emphasis on religion and how it is a control mechanism. The Bene Gesserit have what is called a Missionaria Protectiva which is used to spread different myths and legends across the galaxy. Chief among those myths is that of a messianic figure returning to them. Through prophecy, myth, and superstition they use their power to control the people. The Bene Gesserit keep their own, hidden religion however. Many today believe the Jesuits and the Illuminati have helped to establish all of the world's major religions and have corrupted or destroyed any true knowledge those religions may have held. They also keep their own, hidden religion which they believe to be the true religion. Both orders seemed determined to create a scientific religion with absolute state control.
Both Arthur C. Clarke and Frank Herbert appeared to have knowledge of the Grand Conspiracy and have used that knowledge in their work. While many dismiss them as works of fiction, the truth is often hidden in plain sight as Clarke's and Herbert's novels are extremely popular, have been for years, and are strikingly revealing of the true nature of our society and possible future.
For further investigation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bene_Gesserit
or read Frank Herbert's Dune series of novels.