I thought we were long past first hand accounts being important in this, but it does seem the internet forgets... A while ago, in a different age of aikiweb history, I wrote this:
If anything, I have become a lot more enthusiastic of Dan's work since. So make it 997.
Is that the ONLY way to me? Hell no. To each their own. I'd still find it presumptious to even say its mine.
Now, considering all the people in history who have fooled themselves about all sorts of quite relevant things, could it conceivably be that Dan is some sort of high-power con artist who manages to fool hundreds of people, including myself?
I personally dont think so at all, but, as an exercise of mind, it could conceivably be. But you know, I remember the good times had, I see what I get out of the exercises I learned, how it deepened my understanding of what aikido could be and how it could work, and I really could not care less. In a way, I do not even understand the reasoning behind the thought (which you, admittedly, did not put that way, but it is a continuous implication here on aikiweb), because for me it is a question of whether I want to Find Out About Things In My Own Life Myself. And not just exchange opinions.
BTW, IP is spiritually relevant to me in a non-trivial way - but I am not going to discuss that here.