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.