Let me get this straight. Unless and until one duplicates any arbitrary feat of Ueshiba, Tohei etc. -- there is no validity to the transmission of the principles or the practices which are meant to engender it?
What "arbitrary feat"? I was very specific about which basics I was talking about. Don't try to trivialize the point. If you want to go off into some sort of quibble about whether ki skills are "arbitrary" and not related to the transmission of Aikido, I'm not going to go there.
The "they" presently under discussion is the Chinkon kishin form of the kokyu undo as (however debatably or not), reportedly related by Hikitsuchi as to O Sensei's "personal practice" It is this to which I had been led to believe that so much stock was held among you who hold that there is endemic "lost knowledge" within all mainstream Aikido.
I was pretty clear. Those things are part of the whole set of skills, but they are not the skills. Those procedures are just one approach (which is what I said in my previous post, if you'll read it). I'm not going to go in circles and repeat that that particular approach is fine, but it's not the only way to acquire the core skills... and the core skills are more important than a singular approach to them. The point under discussion is the transmission of Aikido which itself is dependent upon some basic skills. As you said, the proof is in the pudding... and the simplist example of that proof would be exactly what I said: demonstrating basic ki/kokyu skills, just like Ueshiba did. And the transmission we're discussing is unavoidably from the skills of Ueshiba.
So my point is essentially the same point that Dan Harden is making about skills, in that a "transmission" or "inheritance" is more than relationships in any martial art. If not, then anyone can draw lines and tell stories about their "lineage" and claim "transmission". Lineage and transmission are not the same things.... or every poorly-performing student in every art becomes an "inheritor" by default rather than by some minimal performance standard.