Christopher Lee -then you know information i dont.
In the video clips i have seen of M. Saito, he clearly states that it is his duty to preserve the teachings of the Founder without his own interpretation for future generations.
If we ASSUME, this to be mostly correct, then Iwama Aikido should be the closest to what the Founder taught, when we know that Iwama Aikido is very different to the Hombu.
They shouldnt be that different.
I posted this response on another thread years ago, these are quotes from public interviews with Morihiro Saito:
"When I starting teaching myself I realized O-Sensei's way of teaching would not be appropriate so I classified and arranged his jo techniques. I rearranged everything into 20 basic movements I called "suburi" which included tsuki (thrusting), uchikomi (striking), hassogaeshi (figure-eight movements) and so on so it would be easier for students to practice them."
"O-Sensei would get angry if we practiced in a one-two-three manner. His way of teaching might be good for private instruction but when you have to teach 30 or 40 students all together the one-two-three method is the only one effective. This was why I gave each of the suburi movements a number."
"O-Sensei's method may have been good for private lessons but not for teaching groups."
"He used me for explanations and for showing forms. I created
the 31 jo movements from this."
"I used to teach the jo as a 27 or 28-movement form, but ended up with the 31-movement form as I found this was easier for students to understand."
There is also a published quote from Kisshomaru Ueshiba where, in his own words, he clearly stated his intention to "preserve Aikido as his father taught it".
One more thing (and maybe the most important thing) to consider is what it is that Ueshiba was actually doing, and whether copying exactly the outer form and appearance is actually sufficient to duplicate that.