The Truth Behind “The Life and Death Brigade”

The secret Yale club on Gilmore Girls, the one Rory follows into the forest for ‘You Jump, I Jump, Jack‘, is loosely based on a couple of real secret societies at Yale and Oxford.

The Life and Death Brigade is loosely based on Skull and Bones, a secret society at Yale that was founded in 1832. Skull and Bones, sometimes known as The Brotherhood of Death, may have had some early inspiration from the notorious Illuminati. Like The Life and Death Brigade, the Skull and Bones group is said to meet regularly and to have a private island for gatherings. Such gatherings would include elegant catered meals.

The motto of Skull and Bones was ‘Bari Quippe Boni’, Latin for ‘Nature makes only a few who are good.’ In Gilmore Girls, The Life and Death Brigade’s motto was ‘In omnia paratus’, which means ‘ready for anything.’

Other people think that the Life and Death Brigade is more loosely based off of a different club, the Dangerous Sports Club at Oxford, rather than Skull and Bones at Yale. This club pursues adventures and extreme sports, something we know was very popular on Gilmore Girls and which landed Logan in the hospital. This club invented modern day bungee jumping, making the first public jump from a bridge in England. Like the Skull and Bones society and the fictional Life and Death Brigade, the Dangerous Sports Club was for the elite. Members were often seen at social gatherings in top hats and drinking champagne.


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    • Adrienne

      i was wondering about this…
      thanks for sharing it. i did want to learn more about this but i was too lazy to actually look up the info!

      very interesting :)

    • ~*~*~*~*~

      And if you remember when Rory was looking up old articles about the Life and Death Brigade, it showed people jumping off a bridge. I wonder if that was the writer’s way of referencing the real club.

    • Adrienne

      it makes me wonder if they were actual newspaper articles, or if they made the articles to be apart of show. its really interesting. maybe i should watch teh commentary again.. it might say more!

    • Bosnian

      Nothing in this world is perpetual. Time works against both what is good and what is new.
      Yet an intelligent person should stop and ask himself for a moment: why is he chasing after temporary ambitions and has he ever gained any benefit from such pursuit? Finally, he should draw the conclusion that “there is a radical problem with this viewpoint.” Yet people, lacking this kind of reasoning, continue to chase after dreams they are unlikely to achieve.

      I believe that The Truth of The Life of This World offers an explanation regarding the real nature of human life. It is a short and deceptive life in which worldly desires seem fascinating and full of promise, but the truth is otherwise.

      Sustainer enjoins on believers to warn others about these facts, and calls upon them to live only to fulfil His will, as He says in the following verse: Verily, the promise of Allah is true: let not then this present life deceive you…. (Surah Luqman: 33)

      What is the life of this world but play and amusement?
      But best is the home in the hereafter, for those who are righteous.
      Will you not then understand?
      (Surat al-An’am: 32)

    • caroline fry

      wow, i am a number one fan from worester and i have never ever missed a episode, this episode was the best because rory uncovers secrets of her class mate and they get together, rory wants to be a reporter and goes along to this secret society and it is amazing what she uncovers.

    • Janine

      Hi Guys,

      the Life and death brigade. look here is in german, but its real, here in germany are the life and death brigade. They exist really.

    • Alia

      According to Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino in the commentary for this episode, the Life and Death Brigade was based off the club in Oxford.

    • renae

      In omnia paratus, i love that quote.
      and… technically it isn’t a secret society, since everyone knows about it lol.
      they are just tight lipped about what they do.

    • Kaylor_red

      I’m thinking maybe the life-and-death brigade was similar to the puffs at chilton, and that this is Rory’s second chance to get a thrill or two, because she missed it last time…

    • Sarah

      I think it was based off BOTH. And yes it is a secret society or rather a “secret” because people say it exsists but no one cops to it

    • RayRay Misheal

      After watching this episode I did a lot of research about secret societies. I found out absolutely nothing and am still confused as to where Amy got the idea for the articals. I do know that it was based off the club at oxford.