Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
"The teacher comes to point the way and the students end up worshiping the pointer."
— An old saying, often attributed to Buddha
Isn't it interesting that the defining additional information coming from the creator of a medium is called the Word Of God?
Sometimes, a fandom seems to be dedicated to not only the specifics of the show, but to every word or comment that is issued from the creator's mouth. Often anything the creators say, even when not related to the fandom, will be adopted into their vocabulary and mindset. If the creator decides to drop an anvil, it will always be an anvil in dire need of dropping according to the fans. If they decide to suddenly insert a long diatribe that otherwise has nothing to do with the rest of the story, hey, it's their book/comic/show/whatever, they can voice their opinions if they want! If the creator seems to be getting more and more full of themselves, well they're entitled to it because they're just that awesome! These reactions can vary from mild to extreme, but basically the object of Creator Worship will always have fans ready to make some kind of excuse for whatever they do.
The creators themselves may become aware of the power they hold. Some will use it conservatively, to promote unity and not impose their opinions to the masses. Others will wield it like a weapon, boldly stating their position on subjects and obviously hoping their followers will... follow.
Obviously anyone who rises to some type of popularity will have fans, but this is not about a fan going "I really like this one guy..." This trope is about the fans worshipping these mere mortals, and not just the stuff they make.
Such worship may come to resemble established religions, with vicious attitudes towards non-fans.
When it goes wrong, or when the inverse happens, see Scapegoat Creator and Fallen Creator.
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Anime and Manga
Osamu Tezuka, the God of Manga, the man who opened the door.
Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli enjoy this in spades. Nearly every film they make is considered a masterpiece by the world at large, to say nothing of their serious fans, and if you say anything negative about any one of his films, you must prefer tentacle porn to True Art.
Hideaki Anno, until the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion (and the End of Evangelion for that matter) where he became somewhat of an anti-Christ for all of anime, even to the point where his e-mail was clogged with death threats.
He's still worshiped by Eva diehards, though not unlike Alan Moore (see the Comics section), it is generally acknowledged that he's eccentric.
Masashi Kishimoto gets a bit of this, but in particular gets a lot of it from the video game company CyberConnect2, who makes a lot of good licensed games based on the Naruto series that even Kishimoto himself loves and approves of.
Recorded, granted, and factual: up to this day, in the eve of the 25th birthday of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, there hasn't anyone that knows who Hirohiko Araki is and doesn't hold him in any regard lower than this (the fact he doesn't age might help a lot with the immortality part that comes with the "god" statement though).
Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit and coiner of the term "graphic novel," and rightly so. The man was one of the first comickers to take the medium seriously, yet totally unpretentiously.
An Eisner Award in comics is the equivalent of an Oscar for movies, or an Emmy for TV shows.
As noted below, Neil Gaiman fans tend to be rather, uh, "enthusiastic."
For similar reasons, Scott Mc Cloud, author of Understanding Comics and its sequels (and also Zot) and the first person to take comics seriously enough to do literary criticism to them. As any good god seems to be, highly controversial.
Jack Kirby. A bit of the esteem "the King" is held in (aside from being nicknamed "the King") can be seen in the DC Comics boast that they paid Jack more for creating Darkseid than Marvel did for creating their whole universe. Mark Waid actually portrayed the Marvel Universe God as Jack Kirby in the pages of Fantastic Four.
Alex Ross. Can anyone hear the name "Superman" without instantly thinking of that awesome, square-jawed, blue eyed titan he paints?
Jhonen Vasquez, creator of famously disturbing comics such as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac as well as the cult animated series Invader Zim. According to fans of that last one, absolutely everything good about the show was his personal idea, and everything bad was due to the Nickelodeon executives, the demons to Vasquez's godhood.
Carl Barks. He was worshipped before anyone even knew his name, he was just known in the public as the Good Duck Artist. His popularity was so big that he figured he'd take pension when he was roughly 130 years old.
Chris Claremont has some of this, especially from X-Men fans who have become disillusioned with the changes to the comic in recent years. The recent release of X-Men Forever has given Claremont fns somewhere to go, but, predictably, has also garnered some detractors. To most fans, he is known as the Father of X(-men) and is the author of the most acclaimed X-Men story arc, The Dark Phoenix Saga as well as many popular X-Men characters.
Jeff Smith, pretty much the most acclaimed and successful Independent Comic Book artist and author out there; Anything he writes becomes immediately awesome. Anything. RASL? Awesome. Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil? Awesome, even to people that hate superheroes, or The Silver Age of Comic Books. Bone? So friggin' awesome it's won 10 Eisner Awards, 11 Harvey Awards, has been listed on Time's 10 Best English Graphic Novels of All Time list, and is included in Scholastic's "required reading" section... oh, and it's an engrossing Door Stopper to boot.
Alfred Hitchcock was and is still considered the master of suspense. He coined turns like MacGuffin, and gave a number of interviews describing his tactics in constructing good stories.
George Lucas. The godfather of modern entertainment. It has been said that the original Star Wars trilogy didn't invent movie marketing—just perfected it. His popularity has decreased somewhat since the prequel trilogy came out, with George Lucas bashing being popular now. But his name and image should not be taken lightly.
Pixar. All of Pixar. (except Cars, which is widely considered a lesser if profitable franchise; Cars 2 is their only not-Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with 35% of critical approval, and the original is the second-worst rating... which is still a respectable 75%)
Pixar was originally spun off from George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic, and until recently was helmed by Steve Jobs. Stranger and stranger?
Spike Lee became known as the artistic authority on the African-American experience. In an interview, Lee even complained that whenever a controversy involved black people, his office would inevitably get a call asking for comment.
L Ron Hubbard (made even more rabid with the fact that he actually created a religion, Scientology).
Robert A Heinlein has a particularly obsessive and cultish fanbase who pore over his fictional and non-fictional writings to glean pearls of wisdom.
Hubbard and Heinlein are actually involved in a pretty interesting anecdote involving this trope being played straight-up. As the story goes, Heinlein challenged his contemporary and rival Hubbard to see who can come up with the most ludicrous-sounding religion while still convincing people that's it's legit. Heinlein pulled out of the competition when he decided that people were all too willing to latch onto it and take it seriously...of course, Hubbard didn't....
The religion spawned by Heinlein's work, The Church Of All Worlds, survived for years though. It petered out along with the hippy movement.
This started as a joke in the Discworld Diary (another being that Big Name Fan Stephen Briggs's birthday is Patrician Day), but it is certainly the case that any statement he makes on alt.fan.pratchett (which rarely discusses the actual books) will be treated as a bit more significant than if J. Random Poster said it. Half of them will still disagree with it, because they're a bloody-minded bunch (again, taking on his mindset!) but they'll do it in a more measured way.
His French translator, Patrick Couton, Grand Master of Woolseyism, has been referred to as Metatron, as in "Voice of God".
J.R.R. Tolkien, of Lord of the Rings, god of the fantasy genre as we know it. His son Christopher presides over veneration and interpretation of the holy texts.
The fans call him "The Professor" and hold toasts each year on his birthday. Really.
The hero worship has not been well received by the Tolkien family; Tolkien himself referred to it as "my deplorable cultus", and Christopher keeps a wild boar on his property to discourage overly zealous pilgrims.
George R. R. Martin of A Song of Ice and Fire is known to have a pretty close relationship with his fans, and often attends parties they throw at various sci-fi/fantasy conventions. This is all in spite of the internet Hatedom directed at him by readers who complain about his slipping release schedules. To them, it's more like GRRM is their own personal Satan
Neil Gaiman, despite the fact that he always looks faintly bemused at discovering hundreds of fans waiting for him at book signings and the like. (That or he's just stoned, hard to say really.)
It's Neil Gaiman, meaning the answer is almost certainly both.
And now he's got a whole bunch of new fans who are coming to him because of his wife, who are a bit rowdier than his older fans.
CS Lewis. To his credit, he did as much as he could to downplay it during his lifetime in favor of recommending other fantasy authors and Christian apologists.
To a comparatively minor extent, Timothy Zahn among fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The Thrawn Trilogy basically kicked off all Star Wars novels - yes, there had been a few before, focusing on young-ish Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, but this trilogy picked a point years after the movies and built a galaxy around it, and introduced both Mara Jade and Thrawn. It was the first - and this is hotly contested - the best Expanded Universe epic. Zahn-bashing is a bit more popular these days, though less so than for Lucas.
Neil Gaiman himself was an adolescent fanboy of Michael Moorcock who was very much worshiped some twenty-odd years ago, perhaps before most tropers' time.
HP Lovecraft. Creator of Cthulhu. Even during his lifetime, there were fans of his who believed that his universe was real and his works were merely channelling the message of the Old Ones. His cult actually contained a number of young acolytes who would go on to greatness of their own, notably Robert Bloch, author of Psycho and Robert E Howard, the creator of Conanthe Barbarian. There is even speculation that his cult may have indirectly inspired Erich von Daniken, and thus may have been responsible for the creation of some actual religions.
Isaac Asimov, while not having created a religion, has a devout following of people hailing him as the A in "The ABC of Science-Fiction". He also has a throne◊.
Interestingly, Joss is also considered to be evil by these very same fans for the angst he puts his characters through, bordering on misanthropic. If the Cult of Joss were an actual religion, it would be a Religion of Evil.
This Creator Worship is in no small part responsible for Dollhouse getting a second season. It's a safe bet that had Dollhouse been made by someone else, there's no way it would've gotten that far, if only because of the inboxes full on hate-mail his fans could unleash like no other.
JMS, aka J Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5. There was once a website called the Church of Joe, where his more obsessive fans could sign up to be clergy in a religion worshipping the Great Maker, Joe Straczynski himself.
"The Great Maker" was a mostly tongue-in-cheek Fan Nickname before that, taken from the in-universe Centauri deity.
This doesn't even begin to describe it. A lot of the older TOS fans positively worship the man, and it's practically Fandom Heresy to say anything against him. While Trek fans certainly do owe him some credit for creating the franchise, he also essentially abandoned TOS by the end of the second season (Season finale as a Poorly Disguised Pilot, anyone?), and his meddling in the TOS film era eventually led to him getting Kicked Upstairs. These same fans tend to vilify Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, who, while making some questionablechoices later in their term of presiding over the Trek series, helped to rescue TNG from the ruins of its first season, which had the most Roddenberry influence, and make it the classic it is today.
Ron Moore himself has varied from being considered a saint for reviving Battlestar Galactica and doing it so well, or the Antichrist for changing it so much.
There was a big to-do concerning a personal appearance of Rockne S. O'Bannon, the brains behind Alien Nation, Sea Quest DSV, and of course Farscape, his biggest cult hit. There was an interview around the same time that said he was creating a new sci-fi show called Cult which would focus on loony fans of a show within a show series.
Farscape screenwriter Justin Monjo also achieved God status among John/Aeryn shippers for specific shippy episodes he penned. They called themselves Monjonians and even had a prayer: Hail Monj, full of 'Scape, Rockne is with thee... When told about this, several of the show's actors agreed he was a God and were declared to be honorary Monjonians. I am not making any of this up...
Eric Kripke, the creator of Supernatural, is either hailed as a God or as a Lying Liar That Lies Anti-Christ.
And now Star Trek as well. While some of the pre-existing Fan Dumb will vilify him, the newer fans who were lured in by this movie will defend him to the last.
Tim Kring, creator of Heroes. Of course, given the Sophomore Slump of season 2, bashing him has also become a bit of fun.
David Simon of The Wire. The fact that this is mostly justified—he and everyone else who worked on The Wire pay far more attention to detail, characterization, and plot than nearly anyone else working in television—makes fandom all the more frustrating for the unlucky few who do take issue with some aspects of his work.
Reinforcing the appearance of deity is that if you criticize him online, there's a non-zero chance that he'll actually see it and respond (usually witheringly).
Also reinforcing Simon's imposing presence is his tendency to be quite outspoken on how he "intended" the show to be viewed (as a vehicle for his political opinions). Thus it is expected that fans not only love the show, but also Simon's personal views and the singular "correct" reading of his work.
However, Steven Moffat, titled the Grand Moff, is more revered due to making some of the best Who episodes. His new title as the executive producer and head writer received much praise from his followers.
Jim Henson, the undisputed greatest puppeteer of the 20th century for his Muppets.
David Shore. He's seen as kind of a douchebag but, then again, he did write "Three Stories" (which is seen as the best episode ever by most people) so I guess it evens out.
Chris Morris, creator and writer of seminal shows such as On The Hour, The Day Today and Brass Eye. When not taking scathing pot-shots at the Media and generally baiting the outrage brigade, occasionally emerges from his lair to lambast public figures such as Martin Amis for talking out of their colons. And that's not even taking into account the pranks he was responsible for back when he was a humble DJ for Radio One.
Sherlock creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are revered as gods, very evil gods to be precise, by the fandom. The fans fondly call them Mofftiss when referring to both, and Godtiss and The Moff when referring to one or the other. They are both loved and hated for their genius... and knack of leaving their fans on mindbending cliffhangers for agonising months on end. (Twelve months after the end of the second series, the third hadn't yet begun filming.)
Ryan Murphy of Glee, especially amongst the LGBT crowds. Murphy actually seems to have no middle ground; he is either evil incarnate, or the deity of all things holy on television.
The more devoted fans of Call The Midwife bow at the feet of series creator and showrunner Heidi Thomas, especially on Tumblr, where she is essentially considered able to do no wrong. They're not the only ones, however, as even the critics are gushing.
Michael Jackson, whose fanbase seems to consist entirely of worshippers who aren't distressed by anything he did. Someone released doves when he was pronounced not guilty at his child molestation trial, and since his death he's been elevated even higher.
Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers, despite barely being able to play an instrument and never once singing on a studio track - not to mention having vanished in 1995 after possibly drowning himself in the Severn. A certain section of fans were and are known as the "Cult of Richey". Guitarist and vocalist James Dean Bradfield once remarked that even after his disappearance Cult of Richey types would stand in front of Richey's traditional but now-vacant position onstage, staring at where he usually was and nowhere else for the entire gig.
For a while, The Beatles qualified. Yoko Ono is now the official priestess of John Lennon, for those interested in his cult. And there are still a few members of the cult of Paul McCartney out there.... <grin>
"Weird Al" Yankovic Yankovic, current high priest of comedy, has a surprisingly obsessive fanbase.
Very common with the fans of influential and critically acclaimed songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Tom Waits? Though just about any famous musician with any charisma at all will get this kind of thing from some quarter of their fandom.
The King of Rock. Elvis Presley fandom extends way, way beyond worship. Uh-hunh.
Similar, hide fandom and to a somewhat lesser degree, Yoshiki fandom.
For many aficionados of musical theatre, Stephen Sondheim is unassailably the greatest composer and lyricist that the medium has ever seen.
Vic Firth, a legendary percussionist and pretty much the face of concert percussion. It helps that his brand of equipment is the most popular (and for some, reliable) brand on the market. Also helps that he taught a blind hockey player to play the marimba. With four mallets.
Benny Goodman, the King of Swing. Some claim he was responsible for touching off the Swing era, and he was almost certainly one of the biggest players in bringing Jazz into the mainstream with his '38 Carnegie Hall concert. It probably doesn't hurt that his ensembles have included- and in many, if not most, cases given a start to- Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Harry James, Teddy Wilson, and even Billie Holiday.
Speaking of Gene Krupa... Gene Krupa. Go ahead, speak ill of him in a large gathering of drummers. Just be ready to run.
Just go on Twitter. The amount of tiny tween (and adult) worshippers of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are astounding. And scary.
It was a fan catchphrase in the 60s that "Clapton is God", supposedly inspired by a famous piece of graffiti in Islington.
Those who have interest in film music will know and love John Williams.
My Chemical Romance has a few fans who claim the band is their religion. Some fans even refer to singer Gerard Way as "Geesus" and the other band members as his disciples. Also, here's an MCR bible. I'm scared too. *shudder*
Greg Stolze, another author of Tabletop Games, gets the same treatment nowadays.
In the Exalted community specifically, Michael Goodwin, also known as Nephilpal, has become synonymous with everything good there is about Exalted, and his presence on a controversial project make the fandom happy. While he was an Ink Monkey for a time, he's now gone from the core team.
Holden Shearer (also a freelancer) was His Prophet, until he became an assistant to the developer.
Then there's the actual creator, Geoffrey C. Grabowski, whose return to the writing team for third edition produced waves of fan joy that knocked the roof off at least one building.
William Shakespeare. Playwright of...err, a lot. There was a time in history when "Bardolatry" (as it was called by George Bernard Shaw) was the primary attitude. The modern critic is more likely to regard Shakespeare's collection of plays as just that: a collection of plays, written as entertainment for an Elizabethan audience, rather than "a map of life". Nonetheless, Bardolatry is very much alive.
Stephen Sondheim may be the biggest musical theatre example, to the point where the most recent Broadway tribute to him (for his 80th birthday) actually had a song called "God."
Nintendo. Having revitalized the industry after the Video Game Crash Of 1983 and still remaining a strong contender in the hardware and software departments after many companies have come and gone, it's easy to see why they have loyal fans to their name. In addition, many people and sub-companies who work for them get their own individual worship.
Shigeru Miyamoto, he who created Mario, The Legend Of Zelda, Pikmin, and had a hand in the creation a whole lot of other franchises people love. (He also acted as the producer for installments in series he didn't make himself, such as the Wii Punch-Out!! game and the Metroid Prime gamesnote with said games not being developed by the Nintendo EAD division Miyamoto typically works with, and also developed in North America instead of Miyamoto's home country of Japan.)
Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Kirby and Super Smash Bros, is known and loved for his awesome games, and Even the Guys Want Him for his gentle mannerisms and boyish good looks. As Brawl managed to create such a Broken Base, in-fighting over his credibility has become quite common in the fandom of the latter, but the former's base still fully respects him big time. Kid Icarus Uprising seems to have significantly bridged the gap between the dissenters.
Bungie Studios for the Halo series. The sheer amount of fan input they allow make the studio very popular.
Not only does Bungie get worshiped, but some employees get worshiped. A few of the highest worshiped are Shishka, Lukems, Urk, Marty, and, back when he worked for Bungie, Frankie. Frankie is now over at 343 Industries, which he runs.
To add to that, the forum mods get worshiped. The most famous are Foman, Duardo, Recon Number 54, and a few others.
As a side note, both Square and Enix had this going on before they merged (with some crossover between the two camps, but also some tension).
More specifically, Hironobu Sakaguchi (who left Square after the merger and is worshiped by old-school Final Fantasy fans) and Yuji Horii (who's still there and is worshiped by Dragon Quest fans) are the greatest subjects of creator worship. Other current or former Square Enix employees who have earned their own fanatical followings include Yasumi Matsuno (by fans of the Ogre Battle and Ivalice games), Nobuo Uematsu (By fans of Final Fantasy),Tetsuya Takahashi (by Xeno-fans), Masato Kato (by Chrono fans), and Tetsuya Nomura (by Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts fans).
They're nearly as good as Pixar, actually - according to Metacritic, their lowest-rated game is Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, an expansion pack with 65%! Add on Metacritic's tendency to swing towards the middle, and the fact that all their full games are much, much higher (the lowest full game, Day of Defeat, has 78, and that nine out of thirteen scored games have 85 or more), and you have a beautiful average.
It's really telling that they're able to almost completely disregard release schedules and still have the fans remain on their side: yeah, they delay so much it's a Running Gag, but the game that comes out in the end is usually so good that the fans are willing to forgive the wait.
Will Wright, the man who either created or was tangentially involved in all "Sim" games by Maxis. The best-selling game designer ever (With The Sims, its sequels and expansions, and all the numbered SimCity games).
Richard Garriot, AKA Lord British, creator of RPGs as we know them in the form of the fanatically loved Ultima series.
Peter Molyneux, best known for boasting about incredible features and then failing to deliver them. Still loved mostly because you can't fault him for being enthusiastic about his own (High-quality) work. Responsible for Populous, Black & White, and Fable, among others.
How much Warren Spector influenced Thief's development is debatable. Mr. Spector himself has stated that he had minimal involvement on Thief as it came to be in the end.
John Carmack, one of the main men responsible for the Doom and Quake series and one of the first wildly successful game designers. Though his stock has dipped somewhat since Doom 3's lukewarm reception, "The Carmack" still commands attention when he speaks about game technology, especially 3D graphics engines, his specialty.
The other members of id's founding pantheon (John Romero, Tom Hall, and American McGee) also attract their share of sycophants and loathers.
Michael Kirkbride, who wrote much of the background religious lore for The Elder Scrolls and had a hand in the spin-off game Redguard and the main quest of Morrowind. Going on the Imperial Library forum or the Lore subsection of the official Bethesda forum and saying anything even a little negative about any of his work, or even claiming one of his characters can be wrong about things (not all that hard to believe, considering all of the series lore is presented through in-character opinions by multiple authors) will get you flamed, then firebombed, then regular flamed again.
Telltale Games (formerly the beloved adventure game division of LucasArts) are on exactly the same wavelength as their fanbase, and most of the employees are moderators on the Telltale forums.
Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman and Beyond Good And Evil gets this - to the extent that the above-mentioned Peter Jackson approached him to handle the game version of his King Kong remake.
Goichi Suda and his studio, Grasshopper Manufacture, draw this, especially from art-game enthusiasts.
Team Silent, the vaguely-defined group of individuals responsible for the first four Silent Hill games, are considered gods among men (especially now that they're split up) by many of the series' Unpleasable Fanbase.
There's been some scattered reports (nothing officially commented on by Andrew) that he and his girlfriend have actually been stalked by fans. His girlfriend has however commented that people have tried to stalk them, but the extent is unknown.
Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw. Pick a review. Any review. The first fifty comments will be something along the lines of "Brilliant review as always, Yahtzee! I haven't played the game, but it sounds like crap, so I'm not going to try it!" If Croshaw reviews a Japanese game, said comments will also invariably feature some manner of anti-Japanese sentiment. Despite his reputation, Croshaw himself has stated his displeasure with the notion that Reviews Are The Gospel - but a large portion of his fandom seems to have missed that bit.
Made even more frustrating by the fact that Alan Burnett was Bruce Timm's partner and Paul Dini's boss, and Alan Burnett ran story while Timm ran the art side of things, and Alan Burnett gets no recognition whatsoever. Greg Weisman spoke out about this more than once: http://s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=10954
Paul Dini's following is probably notable for being extremely forgiving and reliable no matter what. Any infractions that would shove any normal writer off their pedestal (such as being a writer on Countdown to Final Crisis or making a live-action series for Cartoon Network) have apparently been swept under the rug as far Diniism goes.
A few others of the show's staff get their own recognition by the fanbase. Daniel Ingram is loved for composing the show's Awesome Music, for example, and the writers of single episodes can get worshipped should their episodes get sufficiently popular.
Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, the creators of Phineas And Ferb, also called Dan and Swampy, are starting to get this.
Ben Bocquelet and a few more of the show's writers, namely Jon Foster and James Lamont, are beloved by fans of The Amazing World of Gumball.
While not a creator San Francisco 49ers fans practically worship former owner Eddie Debartolo Jr even chanting his first name during games.
Al Davis could count too for Raiders fans, though in later years fans became increasingly frustrated with him.
Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux.
Richard Stallman, creator of the GNU project.
Love him or hate him (which seems to be S.O.P. for a deity), Bill Gates.
Steve Jobs who during his time was said to "radiate a dazzling aura of RDF (Reality Distortion Field)" which enraptured those around him. Even after his death, his name is still invoked but mainly with "Apple is doomed without" preceding it.
The yin to Jobs' yang was, of course, Steve Wozniak and though this Steve only worked at Apple until 1987 he is still the goto guy for an opinion on what Apple is upto.
Anyone reviewed by Mark Prindle seems to attract these like flies. Seriously, look at almost any of his reviews, especially of more popular bands, and I guarantee there'll be at least one rant about how no-one else is a true fan and anyone who criticises the artist has no right to criticise them, is infinitely less talented, etc ad nauseum. There's a whole world of Fan Dumb out there?
Dan Bernstein is generally regarded by the Slashdot crowd as a profoundly cantankerous but rather talented security researcher. His small but vocal fanbase, on the other hand...
Oprah really does have a cult of personality around her. Compare this video of reactions to Oprah's favorite things 2010, to this video of the citizens of North Korea mourning Kim Il-Sung's death. Granted Oprah hasn't set up forced Labor camps, oppressed an entire nation, and committed democide, but the videos still have a startling similarity... *shudders*
Give her time, she had to build an empire. He had one ready made.
Which is a very literal case of creator worship (though most religions tend to be).
Any popular self-help person gets this: Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Steve Pavlina, Abraham Hicks, Eckhart Tolle are several. It's enough that a "self-help guru" with sycophants is a standard image, a truth.
That being said, the Creator Worship of any self-help person by their adoring fans often attracts a Hatedom as well nowadays.
Legendary bicycle mechanic and writer Sheldon Brown. Ask a question about bike repair and you'll invariably be sent a link to his site. The articles on his website are considered Word of God for anything bicycle related, although most people don't realize new writers have been updating the site since Brown died in 2008. He is also credited as a major contributor to the fixie craze.
In US politics, Congressman Ron Paul is not the founder of the libertarian movement (or the Libertarian Party), but he is inarguably the founder of the libertarian movement's modern incarnation...and his fans sure don't mind letting people know it.
His fanbase has not only garnered supporters in the Right, but also the Left as well—-many Occupy protesters and democrats who are disillusioned with Obama believe that he is the only candidate worth voting for