As you are discovering, martial styles and ranks are a conglomeration of some fact, lots of hype, and many outright lies. “Official” certifying organizations appear and disappear every day. You pay to get a high rank certificate or a PhD from one of these phony organizations, use those to get more rank from another one, use it to get a soke from another one, etc. Some people have good martial art techniques and/or are good teachers and they are satisfied with that. Others do not have the intelligence or skills to be successful at anything else in life, so they create their own arts to build their egos. Once they create the first lie, it seems to escalate, and they create more and more lies to support it. Most grow to believe their own lies. Some are genuinely idiots, and truly believe that all their phony certificates and made up resumes are real.
It is odd that people never seem to invent new martial art. They always take the “best” from other arts, give the collection a name, and presto, they have founded a “new” martial art. However, the martial arts are not the only places things similar to this occur. Yoga and its poses have been around for centuries, but “new” versions keep appearing. Birkram Yoga (hot yoga) is a series of 26 poses that are done in a 105-degree room. Although the poses are the same ones used in any other types of yoga, Bikram Choudury copyrighted the order in which the 26 poses are done and thus no one can teach them in this order without paying for training and a getting a franchise from him.