I am not sold on the idea people can't learn aiki on their own, what ever it is. .
folks can learn aiki on their own. who taught the first masters? however, it's very difficult. your profile said you located in CA. Dan and others give regular seminars in CA (nobody comes near my way) so maybe you should try to attend one or two and see if your opinions still hold. you have heard of the phrase that mentioned quite a bit on the subject of aiki, IS/IP - It Has To Be Felt (IHTBF).