It's all high dudgeon over little. The reason "aiki" (internal training) has been little known has been
a. EIther Ueshiba didn't teach it or his students didn't learn it
b. Daito-ryu didn't present it publicly after Takeda, and, in fact, used a teaching procedure that ensured that few of their own students would progress with any speed.
Very good snapshot of the aiki arts.
RE: Not teaching or not learning of aiki:
You could include a teacher from Hisa's school who went to learn from Tokimune. He wanted power/ aiki. Tokimune showed him a series of Solo exercises to do, the guy brings them back, and supposedly no one wants to do them at the Takumakai. He asks Tokimune. Tokimune says "No one wants to do them here either. They only want to do techniques." You have solo training in the aiki arts, you have specific paired exercises outside of kata as a more direct means to get it. Yet most everyone is trying to get it through kata with varying degrees of success.
I agree with negating the conspiracy idea. On the whole individual behaviors are only that; individual acts. It remains a fact that the individuals all seemed to have arrived at the same mistaken representation of the DR connection though.
So, one could rightly ponder:
How did so many English speaking authors and teachers end up playing the same tune? Who was the source of such information at that time?
Why did the English speaking versions get "corrected" so dramatically after...Stan Pranin Why do the newer versions of Ueshiba's martial history seem to "follow" his work?
Re: the idea that DR was ever wanting the limelight. I would agree to that. With few exceptions they have chosen to remain small and out of the public eye. As you know they have had opportunities to pursue more recognition and declined.
I think the link is important, and a worthwhile pursuit. I also think your observations of the way aiki arts treat their own is interesting. The aiki arts-which stood apart from koryu jujutsu in form and execution, were probably staged to have these kinds of problems due to the nature of the transmission of the arts themselves. When you look at koryu you see ( for the most part) a set transmission model of kata. You learn the art one kata after the other. There are open secrets. In other words you know you have to go through step 1,2,3 before you get into the gokui and its a process. In the aiki arts, aiki skews everything in that people get it before others and it does not always follow the path set for everyone. And that happens and is played out among a wide ranging syllabury bettween schools that is so diverse its almost like they were doing different arts. Not without merit is the fact that each of the big five under Takeda all swear they are doing what they were taught, while each looks so different. Which in and of itself proves out the the idea that "aiki" skewed everything-possibly even right from the source; Takeda himself. There is the distinct possibility that he, just like Ueshiba, was ever evolving his art. And that Ueshiba's statements that "Aiki is formless" was not only a direct quote from his teacher but a defining commentary that explains the entire framework that joins these arts.
Logic would suggest that since aiki looks so different and is so strident as a defining aspect in such diverse arts, it should mean that it is a process that can be trained outside of those arts, but be used inside of the same arts, were someone to take that route.
I would love to read a more in depth take on why the Dai Nippon Butoku kai set aside a "classification" for demonstrating "the way of aiki" in 1942. We know Ueshiba liked the name and kept it for his current Aikibudo art and "Aikido" as a name, was born. But I am interested in whether they were considering it as a classification for Ueshiba only, or was it in recognition that the aiki arts were themselves a different category. They obviously knew he was a Takeda man. As has been suggested in the past, I wonder if they were making a broader distinction, instead of a specific example.