I think guru-worship comes from both directions...
On the one hand it's that most clinicians actually consciously cultivate their own image of the only one with all the answers, by constantly stressing their own achievements and exclaiming that all others are wrong. In Hempflings case, he doesn't as much stress his own results, as that he tends to stress that trainers who do things differently haven't seen the light yet because they don't see that they don't have a 'real' relationship with their horse - which is only possible with Hempflings method.
But at the same time you're only believable as guru/man with all the answers if you constantly show the world how humble you are - in most cases done by using the old favorite one-liners like 'The more you learn from horses, the more you realise how little you know', 'I'm not the teacher, the horse is,' 'Don't follow me, follow your own road' (But don't use another method or do things differently!
), learn from every person you meet (but learn from the others how not to do things!
So it's quite narrow line you're walking if you want to be a guru!
On the other side of the coin however, I think there are also a lot of people who really want to have a guru who they can follow. Sure 'just follow your horse' is a nice mantra, but if you have zero trust in yourself, you won't have any trust in your ability to interpret the signals of your horse either. Or if you're insecure of giving the right reply to everything your horse does, it's so much easier to have 1 plan, 1 method that you can stick to every time, than to realise that there are zillions of possible reactions that might all be good or bad, depending on that specific moment. It's also nice to have that method as a stick behind the door against your horse (however soft the method), because if you just follow the rules 100% and it still doesn't work, then (at least to yourself) you can be sure that the problem is not you but the horse. And some people just really want to belong to something, to be part of something in order to bring some order into the world, because then at least you can divide the world into 'ours' and 'not ours'. Some really need a black & white view. I guess for most people that is a phase in their development as an individual. First you learn to belong to people, then you learn to be an individual, different or against people and go to that extreme, and finally you find the middle ground and be both an individual and member of a group. I think too that there are people who really are into the hero-worship because that way they give someone the status they themselves would wish to have.
I know a very big Hempfling fan, and she didn't accept any criticism or even a simple rewards/corrections analysis of his method either. She was on the NHE forum too and was very much against all the secrecy and Nevzorov-worship (School membership only for selected members, no criticism allowed) while she was there. So she started her own forum in order to discuss methods in an in-depth and open-minded way instead. However, she also was a real Hempfling devotee and even though she herself on was allowed to say that she does things different from him and doesn't agree with him 100% - when other state that they don't agree completely with his method either, her reply is that then they apparently don't understand the greatness and depth of his work and should shut up instead of talk about things they don't know about. The last time I heard about her forum, she was planning to install a special School section for those who proved that they had a deeper understanding so that they could learn the secrets of her method.
Without wanting to judge her, it's hard not to see the pattern, and it really made me realise that the followers play a big part in creating a cult of secrecy and hero-worship too.
When I interviewed Hempfling two years ago and asked him about his past as guru/shaman surrounded by a group of people which strongly resembled a cult, he replied that without realising it he had the role of cult-leader projected onto him by his followers and got sucked into this role because it filled a 'hole his ego' as he expressed it and apparently this status gave him something he needed at that point. Only after some time he realised what happened and what an unhealthy situation it was, retreated from it, did some soul-searching and developed healthier relationships with other people. Which I think is pretty impressive.
By the way, I don't want to create the impression that all trainer-worshippers are mentally instable!
I guess we all feel the need every now and then to have a father figure, the man with all the answers (always men who are the guru's, isn't that interesting!) who can tell me right here and now why Sjors is such a little monster every now and then and what I can do to 'fix' it. And I too see the benefits of a black and white world and just have clear answers for a change. So I guess we all have the seeds for guru-worship in us. The difference is whether we use that to project our longings onto someone and raise him to be the guru, or just stick to wishing that the world was more simple, then sigh and accept that it's a murky life - and then actually be happy that it's such a colorful and rich universe!