Hi guys, a quick clarification just in case my post has been taken the wrong way by anyone. I did not mean to imply that Dan--or any other teacher--is selling bogus potions. The analogies were meant to help demonstrate what it looks like to the other side, i.e. as per the thread title, 'vantage points'. Hopefully when we understand where the other side comes from, we can then tailor our responses to address their concerns rather than preaching to our respective choirs.
I would also like to clarify that I took no issue with your original analogy. It was merely when the analogy was stretched and lost its tenuous grasp on reality that it became an issue, i.e. " the potion doesn't have the typical Mayan taste of maize but rather tastes like Mexican salsa" and "strong personal conviction that the potion is not of Mayan origin". Taken within the analogy of "Imagine that Bob claims to have discovered the great long-lost youth rejuvenation potion of the Mayan civilization"...
We may disagree about the relevance of the skills. That is fine. We may disagree about whether or not they represent Morihei Ueshiba's training. That is fine. We may even agree the salesmanship tactics are a bit brash. A change in tone is certainly overdue. But, there is no fraud or bait-and-switch going on here. The work is what it says on the tin - power that is internally driven - that comes from the lineages any of the teachers in question will tell you if asked.
Well, okay, upon further looking at it, there is one issue I will take with your original analogy - "If you want to know more, you can come and pay X amount of dollars to see what the big deal is... " juxtaposed with "But in order to invest the time/money to do it, they will need a level of credibility to surpass the minimum threshold to bother testing it. And that's why the skeptics keep badgering the pro-IS/IP camp for "proof"."
I think it may be overlooked that there are now groups of students worldwide training in all these things, and if for some reason the teacher is inaccessible to you, and if you're not expecting much out of works in progress (keeping in mind our own inside joke of "we suck"), you can go in and see the character of the work we're doing. Many of us will be happy to show-and-tell with like minds about what we're doing! No, we will not impress you, but I doubt any of us would turn you away either. Just don't set your bar too high, unless you're actually meeting with the high bar.
The discussion seems to focus so much on one or two particular giant trees that the forest has dropped out of sight...