Telling the spouses was necessary for their informed (albeit clearly not uninfluenced) consent. There was no similar necessity with respect to anyone else. NB chose to keep his affair with Patrecia secret from Rand. This means that he was screwing Rand without Rand's informed consent. Sex without valid consent is rape. In this respect, Valliant's point about "rape" is entirely valid. To paraphrase Mal Reynolds, is that really the direction you want this conversation to be going in?
Rand asked a much younger, lesser known woman, whose entire professional career and income revolved around Rand and her philosophy, to let Rand sleep with her husband. She kept on sleeping with him for years, keeping the whole arrangement a deep, dark secret.
Maybe there were "students of Objectivism" then taking NBI classes in Objectivist ethics who would not knowingly have consented to contracting for same from a philosopher (Rand) and a lecturuer (Branden) who were involved in such a possible abuse of Barbara Branden. By your argument, Rand and Nathaniel Branden should be considered guilty of conspiring to "steal" the monies paid by those students.
Earlier, you had written of the 50s era ""conformity to intrinsicist-Christian morality in American culture":
Not quite the Nazi occupation, but close enough for applicability of the same moral principle. I don't regard them as remotely close enough for there to be applicability without a thorough argument limited to a specific context. And I regard even drawing a broad analogy without such argument to be offensive.
[edited for formatting]
(Edited by William A. Nevin III on 11/28, 2:50pm)