According to Doctrine, the Voth were the first species to evolve in their part of the galaxy and saurian species such as themselves were superior. Mammalian species such as Humans were looked down upon as a result.
The Doctrine formed the basis of Voth culture that revolved around the Ministry of Elders. One issue with Doctrine was the teaching that transwarp was too dangerous for the Voth, a setback that limited the Voth for millennia.
Voth Doctrine dictated that because the Voth were the first to evolve in their part of the galaxy, they had the right to rule it. Thus, the notion that Voth evolved elsewhere, as proposed in the Distant Origin Theory, was considered heresy.
Until the 2370s, the Voth culture believed that they originated in the Delta Quadrant. New evidence presented by a Voth scientist named Forra Gegen, however, supported his Distant Origin Theory and cause it to become more and more prominent. Linking 47 genetic markers with the remains of Hogan, Gegen eventually encountered the USS Voyager, and revelations were made.
Since Doctrine was a vital part of Voth civilization, severe punishment was common for acts against Doctrine. One exception was that in the case of Gegen, he was about to be sentenced to imprisonment, along with the Voyager crew, unless he retracted his findings on the Distant Origin Theory. (VOY: "Distant Origin")