The Hidden Hope Doctorine
The Prinz Eugen incident further lowered the morale of the fleet. The mutiny itself was shocking, but the general's swift execution of the ringleaders was not accepted without question. Kerensky's actions made it clear that he considered himself not only the fleet's commander, but also its ruler. Many began to suspect that Kerensky did not have a final destination for the fleet, openly questioning his authority and the decision to leave the Inner Sphere.
In order to quell the growing dissent, Kerensky published General Order 137. This document is etched just above eye level into the Common Room walls of every Clan ship. It is Kerensky's justification for the execution of the Prinz Eugen mutineers, the need to maintain discipline, and the harsh penalties for failure to obey orders or in any other way hinder "the smooth functioning of this emergency operation." His formal yet eloquent statement of goals for himself and those who followed him made this more than just a cold warning. General Order 137 expressed what became known as the Hidden Hope Doctrine.
In the general's own words:
"Return to the Inner Sphere is impossible for us. Our heritage and our convictions are different from those we left behind. The greed of the five Great Houses and the Council Lords is a disease that can only be burned away by the passing of decades, even centuries. And though the fighting may seem to slow, or even cease, it will erupt again as long as there are powerful men to covet one another's wealth. We shall live apart, conserving all the good of the Star League and ridding ourselves of the bad, so that when we return, and return we shall, our shining moral character will be as much our shield as our BattleMechs and fighters."
His prophecy proved chillingly accurate in the light of the destructive Succession Wars the Inner Sphere endured.
Kerensky's order apparently served to renew his followers' resolve to continue the journey. How it quelled the swelling discontent is uncertain. Perhaps the dissenters' devotion to the general allowed them to forgive his harshness in hope that his words would prove true. The Jade Falcon Remembrance hints that the general had spies in the Inner Sphere who were already relaying information that illustrated just how pointless return would have been.