Men of Letters are "preceptors observers, beholders, chroniclers", of mysteries not easily explainable or known to men. They had knowledge of mysteries of the supernatural and many arcane arts like alchemy. They considered hunters to be a lower class to them. Thus, their order only shares its secrets to the most elite hunters they deem to be worthy.
The order was identified with the crest of the Aquarian Star, a six-pointed sign that represents great magic and power and was linked to the gates of Atlantis. The order was led by elders, who held their most protected secrets. Members of the order were ordained through the paternal line of their family. Despite the name of the order, members are not gender specific, as one of their intiates was female, although the majority of them were men.
Much of the order was destroyed by a Knight of Hell, Abaddon, on August 12, 1958. With the death of Henry Winchester and the only known surviving elder Larry Ganem, both at the hands of Abaddon in 2013, the order is most likely extinct. Although considering Hunters below them, Men of Letters did share many of their characteristics and habits, such as keeping journals, and guarding secrets. Later, Henry gives Sam and Dean the key to the former Men of Letters headquarters, which the latter calls the 'batcave'. The headquarters could only be accessed by a special key.
Restoration and ResurgenceEdit
The order's headquarters, although unused, still functioned perfectly when the Winchester brothers visited it and used it as base of operations in uncovering more about the Men of Letters. Soon after, the two brothers identified a case involving bringing down some members of the Necromancer Nazi party known as the Thules. Similar to how Aaron Bass and his saboteur Golem took up the mantle to keep the Judah Initiative alive and active, Sam found an interest in the Men of Letters society and took up the throne as the next legacy, becoming the newest member of the formerly extinct Men of Letters. Additionally, Charlie Bradbury also expressed interest in becoming a woman of letters.
The order possessed a rating system for demonic possessions with a possession like that of The Exorcist being a Class Two Infernal Event. This system went up to at least Class Five and the order was interested in a new type of exorcism that could conceivably cure a demon. The first attempt failed, but Father Max Thompson eventually succeeded, though it is unknown if the order was aware as they only recorded the first failed attempt. Using the rating system, the order recorded every possession for hundreds of years up until their destruction.
Some spells used by the members were also classified according to ranks. For example, knowledge of the blood sigil cast by Henry Winchester is expected of high-level members.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Men of Letters were powerful humans who knew a great deal more about the supernatural than even veteran hunters. They had knowledge of ancient and powerful magic, including exorcism and time travel spells. One of the members, Henry Winchester, tapped into his own soul in order to power a spell. They also were aware of the existence of angels, something hunters only gained knowledge of during the ushering of the Apocalypse. Additionally, they knew of the existence of dragons, and Atlantis, among other things.
They seem to be ranked by Levels of supernatural knowledge that they have attained; the higher the level, the more powerful and experienced they are.
Up until Henry's death, they were in possession of 'the key to every object, scroll, spell ever collected in thousand years under one roof.' This key passed on to Henry's grandsons, Sam and Dean Winchester. The location of this 'supernatural mother lode' were revealed to Sam by Larry Ganem. He said that this place is 'the safest place on earth warded against any evil ever created.'
- Larry Ganem, elder, first blinded by Abaddon in 1958, then killed by her in 2013.
- David Ackers, elder, killed by Abaddon.
- Ted Bowen, elder, killed by Abaddon.
- An Unnamed Elder, murdered by Abaddon.
- Josie Sands, an initiate, possessed by Abaddon.
- Henry Winchester, an initiate.
- Henry Winchester's paternal ancestors.
- Max Thompson, killed by Abaddon.
- Albertus Magnus, described by Henry as 'the greatest alchemist of the 14th century'.
- Frank Baum, father of Dorothy. Journeyed to Oz and wrote the Oz books to leave Dorothy clues on how to stop The Wicked Witch.
- Peter Jenkins, possessed by The Wicked Witch and killed by James in 1935.
- James Haggerty, researched Dorothy's disappearance until he retired. He also compiled On the Inner Workings of Angels.
- Dean Winchester, became a legacy. Presently one of two members left.
- Sam Winchester, became a legacy. Presently one of two members left.