Bowesley Doctrine

The 'Bowesley Doctrine' was a term that came into common parlance in 2011, after the YouTube Incident, and the subsequent reactionary steps taken by Anne Bowesley, the Queen (Prince) of London, England.

Bowesley decreed that the YouTube incident, which was in fact the culmination of a lengthy process of associations amongst the involved Thinbloods beforehand, occurred in part because the control over Kindred that princes once held from Domain to Domain had been weakened - if not shattered - by the immediacy of modern communication, and the reluctance or inability of different Domains within the same region to share both information and administrative control.

Consequently, Bowesley decreed that her part of the world - the United Kingdom and the British Isles - would now be considered a single, regional Domain, overwhich she would be the sole Sovereign. She issued demands to all the various Princes across the UK and outlying regions that they were to submit to her authority, ceding certain powers to her Court, and taking part in a common process of advise and consent on Kindred affairs, and Kindred justice. The other Princes were now, effectively, employees of the Queen, acting as magistrates over their assigned cities.

Several Princes - most notably Donal O'Connor of Dublin, Ireland - opposed this move as a blatant power grab. However, after Bowesley executed O'Connor to make an example of him, the several holdout Domains acquiesced to Bowesley's decree.

The White Queen rechristened her now expanded dominion as 'The United Kingdoms,' becoming perhaps the most powerful Prince (by square acre of claim) in Camarilla history.

This event set off a shockwave across the Camarilla, with various Princes and presumptive Princes attempting the duplicate Bowesley's move; these other attempts met with various degrees of success, and some with disastrous and deadly failure.

In America, a refined version of the Bowesley Doctrine was instituted by both Los Angeles, California and Denver, Colorado: instead of the Prince laying whole claim to a geographical region, each Primogen in a city would instead be granted exclusive ownership over their Clan's Domain in the city, making their Clanmates effectively the Primogen's 'subjects,' and reporting directly to the Prince about both Clan and Domain matters. This method consolidated both Clan and territorial responsibility to a single person over a large area of a City, effectively cutting away several layers of blame-dodging.

Byt the time the question of what to do about both Queen Bowesley, and the Bowesley Doctrine - both of which had stoked the ire of a large portion of Clan Brujah and others who saw it as a move for greater tyranny in the Camarilla, the Brujah Elder Vragen made this plea to his fellow Kindred at the Grand Conclave of 2011:

"My honored peer Yuria speaks eloquently and from her heart. I do not condone the actions Prince Bowesley undertook this summer and I too mourn the loss of our honored Clanmate Prince O'Connor. But this is not the time to be moved by loss. Nor is it the season to demand vengeance that is crudely dressed as justice. If the actions of Anne Bowesley are to come under this Conclave's scrutiny, we must look not only at this death but its precedents and antecedents as well. Prince Bowesley did not declare this political change in a vacuum. We all remember the panic that occurred when those two lamentable Thin Bloods posted their video on the human's Internet. We all remember the mad, chaotic scramble to attempt to cover it up. What many of you never saw was how much damage these disorganized attempts at defense did themselves to the Masquerade. In Britain alone, there were 18 separate attempts to create a theatrical movie, computerized video game or television series that showcased characters like the two Thin Bloods. None of these attempts were coordinated and almost every one failed due to the sudden glut of similar products. In Liverpool, Dublin, Manchester and Glasgow there were organized attempts by neonates to form outreach to mortal politicians and request official recognition of Vampires as a 'medically needy' group under the Health Care system. While the Princes of each of these cities dealt with that issue admirably, each chose to keep quiet that these groups had ever existed. Beyond Britannia, two Kindred met their final deaths believing they were destroying mortal Hunters when two independent teams from Hamburg and Stockholm clashed with each other while searching for the Thin Bloods who started this whole mess.

"The point I am trying to make is that we are disorganized and behind the times. In this modern age, the boundaries of 'City' become more and more meaningless. Instant communication across the world and a distributed, impregnable electronic archive of all Human endeavor make keeping our Masquerade more difficult now than ever before. Even now that the Gangrel and the Assamites are granted seats among our Justicars, those Eight and their chosen Archons cannot hope to provide oversight to every individual Princedom across the world. 300 years ago, when a mistake could be quieted at the border of a Domain, this system was logical. When a single picture taken on a single cellular phone from the window of an apartment half a block away can be distributed to millions LITERALLY overnight, we must look for other solutions.

"Prince Anne Bowesley killed Donal O'Connor, this point none will argue. But as much as I lament the loss of my cousin, I must let my Man rule my Beast and recognize that this was not an act of violence against the Brujah by the Ventrue. This was not a political ploy to provide Bowesley with more power. This was the birth pain of the way our Great Society must survive. My fellow Kindred, we must rally together in these modern nights. Let the Justicariate guide our Princes in establishing Regencies like Bowesley's across the world. Let our cities become networks of information and our Princes an organized force to govern and guide us. Let vengeance stand aside and let us look at the world as we did so long ago in the quiet village under the shadow of Hardestadt and recognize that we must adapt together or we must surely perish."

Subsequently, the Camarilla adopted the Bowesley Doctine as the basis for a reformation of the power structure of the Sect.

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