Rank awarded by a soke organization, non-aikido organization or the individual themselves through an organizational charter.
dammit I knew it, I'm a fraud! Twice over in fact! No, seriously, using this definition... I'll expand. (most recent example first) head of my old association left ki soc, wanted to still do ki so ended up under the umbrella of a martial arts organisation who covered several martial arts for insurance etc. i.e. not solely aikido - I graded under them hence my rank is fraudulent.
First time round was again a non-affiliated society who's auspices I think were the BAB, but I don't know (DaveH, as we found out, started in the same group, any idea of their then affiliation Dave?) - again, here I'm a potential fraud.
Sorry John, while I can understand your wishes for aikido not to be misrepresented, sometimes politics does get in the way of a nice lineage.