As most of you die-hard Supernatural fans are aware, the Men of Letters is a centuries-old organization that was created to observe and document the monsters and creatures of the world. Unlike hunters, who they look down on, the Men of Letters observe, study, and focus on creating new methods of destroying evil instead of fighting it one-on-one (a la the Winchesters). The American branch of the order was destroyed by the demon Abaddon in the 1950s and Sam and Dean's paternal grandfather, Henry Winchester, was one of the casualties. While the American branch was wiped out, the British Men of Letters remained intact and still operates by a very specific "code," or set of rules, to this day.
Here are 10 Rules the Men Of Letters in SPN have to follow, OR ELSE.
10. Obey Without Question
The British Men of Letters have a special code that all members are required to live by as a way to ensure all agents execute orders without question and for the good of humankind. Hmm...not so sure about that "for the good of mankind" part, but okay. The first rule? All members must obey and execute orders from their superiors without question or any remorse under threat of death. So no "free thinkers" allowed? No wonder the Winchesters made it on their hit list!
9. Attend Kendricks Academy
All British Men of Letters are required to attend Kendricks Academy, a London-based educational institution with the largest collection of occult lore in the world. This is the school where all future Men of Letters are trained to be ruthless, cunning and loyal. According to supernaturalwiki.com, the coat of arms includes an aquarian star, a rampant lion (in heraldry, a symbol of bravery and nobility), and two crossed keys (the crossed keys represent the Keys of Heaven and can also be seen on the papal coats of arms). Notably, in the Kendricks Academy crest, it is facing to what is called the sinister side.
8. Battle To The Death To Prove Their Loyalty
In the scene pictured above, a young Mick Davies is called to the office of the Kendricks headmistress, Dr. Hess, along with his friend Timothy. No, they're not winning a special award or joining the safety patrol, they're about to be asked to fight to the death (with a dagger) to prove their loyalty so they can move up to the next level of training. This is Supernatural, what did you expect? Mick Davies comes out on top but his actions will go on to haunt him for years.
7. Eliminate Anyone Who Has Supernatural Abilities
According to the code, any monster or human that displays supernatural abilities that can be seen as dangerous is to be killed, no questions asked. Mick Davies took over operational leadership on the British Men of Letters U.S. expansion by recruiting American hunters and and starting a systematic extermination of monsters in the U.S. In the beginning, the Winchesters could get behind the effort, but their inhumane and diabolical methods eventually put them at odds.
6. An Eye For An Eye
According to the Men of Letters code, the death of a Man/Woman of Letters results in the death of the responsible party, no matter what the circumstances may be. In other words, it doesn't matter if it was an accident or if the killing was done by a member or a legacy, someone is going to pay for it. This isn't that surprising given their past blood lust and Hunger Games style upbringing.
5. Never Fail To Avenge A Fellow Member
Ready for another rule? Following the death of a Men of Letters, another member will be assigned the task of avenging their comrade's death (per the last rule). If the deceased Man of Letters is NOT avenged, for whatever reason, the one who failed to avenge the fallen operative will be killed instead. So either way, somebody's gonna' die! It's becoming pretty clear that no one with a heart would be able to hack it as a Men of Letters (guess that explains the death of Mick Davies).
4. Traitors Are Automatically Killed
You had to see this one coming, right? No organization as brutal as the Men of Letters is going to let people live by their own rules or ethical code! Mick Davies - the one who was forced to kill his friend at Kendricks Academy- turned his back on the British Men of Letters code when he began to see things from the perspective of the American hunters. Doctor Hess, an elder of the organization, wasn't down for that and had Arthur Ketch execute Mick with a silenced pistol shot to the back of his head. Ouch.
3. Desertion Isn't Tolerated
Unsurprisingly, desertion is an act punishable by death for the Men of Letters. In one episode, Arthur Ketch is captured by Sam and Dean and taken to the bunker where he is tortured for information. During his interrogation he tries to convince them that he is actually Ketch's twin brother, Alexander, who fled Kendricks Academy before his initiation and became a mercenary hunter working all over the world for a fee.
"I am separated from the British Men of Letters, lying low because they will kill me for desertion," he claimed. "I make a rather good living as a sort of soldier of fortune, deep underground, for a certain sort of clientele who appreciate my skill set. And I do use the name 'Alexander.'"
2. Sworn To Secrecy
It goes without saying that the Men of Letters is a top-secret organization. Sam and Dean were well into their thirties before they stumbled upon the bunker and found out about the organization's existence and the fact that their grandfather, Henry Winchester, was a full-fledged member. The Men of Letters also has a sort of witness relocation program for retired members that they used to hide Clive Dylan after his return from Oz.
1. Membership Is Hereditary
The fact that Henry Winchester was a member of the Men of Letters makes both Sam and Dean "legacies," whether they want to be or not. Members of the order, which is led by elders who hold their most protected secrets, are ordained through the paternal line of their family. Despite the name of the order, members can also be female, although the majority of them are men. Sam, who develops a strong interest in the Men of Letters society, takes up the throne as the next legacy, becoming the newest member of the formerly extinct American branch of the Men of Letters.