QG, thanks for the link to your site. We are at cross purposes. Or perhaps we are looking at the problem from very different directions.

If one does the calculations in terms of magnification, then a lens with pupillary magnification < 1 facing normally doesn't seem to obey the inverse square law. Wehn magnification = 1, the diameter of the circle covered is twice that of the circle covered at infinity; in this case, by the inverse squares law illumination in the circle should fall by a factor of 4, i.e., by 2 stops. This is the standard result for a lens with pupillary magnification =1. But with, say, a lens with pupillary magnification = 0.5, at 1:1, illumination falls by 3 stops. And that's why I don't agree with you.

By the way, your explanations would be clearer if you said "distance from the film plane to the exit pupil with the lens focused at infinity" instead of "position of the exit pupil". This because for unit focusing lenses, the exit pupil's position is fixed relative to the lens and as the lens is focused closer it moves relative to the film plane.