Obviously the guide was having trouble getting his turons to do what he wanted them to do. Usually, when that happens it is because the guide isn't doing his job very well. And smacking the turon with a paddle isn't going to help. There really are only five possible reasons for the trouble:
(1) The turons were all totally inept, and were unable to follow the guide's instructions. It would be an extremely rare event for an entire group to be totally inept. The guide, after giving proper instructions on what he expects, should do some dry-run practice in calm water immediately after launch. Within two minutes, the guide should be able to identify who can and who can't help him control the boat.
If there truly is nobody there to help, then he should abort the trip. That never once happened to me or to any of the guides who worked for me. We could alway find at least a couple of paddlers who could be put in the front of the boat, and then the rest would be told to do what the guy in front is doing. Not ideal, but it works.
(2) The guide failed to properly instruct the turons at the outset, so they didn't know what he wanted them to do. This person should immediately become a former guide.
(3) The turons were impaird by alcohol. Any guide who would allow drunk turons to get into the raft should be collecting unemployment, along with the booking agent who failed to make the turons understand that they had to be sober to make the trip.
(4) Some people don't follow instructions simply because they don't understand them. I've seen many intelligent, physically capable people who had difficulty with "left" and "right." They had to stop and think, "Okay, left is where my watch is. I'm on the other side, so I must be right. The guide said, 'Left side forward, right side back,' so that means I'm supposed to back paddle." Of course, by the time he has gone through that mental process, it's too late, and another command has been given, hopefully not "High side!" These people can react much better to visual commands--like watching the person directly in front. Just about anyone can do that.
(5) The guide is giving improper or unclear commands. Turons can't do what they're told unless they can hear the commands, and the commands are consistent and quick. If the guide keeps changing the way he tells the turons to make a left turn, he can't expect consistent results. If the guide can't do that, he should look for work at McDonalds.