Uh oh! After our conversation at the 2005 TOC Conference, in which you indicated that you had some disagreements with TOC, I had a feeling that you may be parting ways in the near future.
Some of the issues that you listed as intending to explore during your "sabbatical" are intriguing - both the questions and the way that you formulate them.
"WHY ARE SO MANY OBJECTIVISTS ANGRY AT AYN RAND?" They are? If you are referring to reactions that some Objectivists have had to breaches between her stated ethical principles and her actions (e.g., the affair debacle and her subsequent statements and actions about that incident; her claims that libertarians were "stealing" her ideas- thus denying decades of personal friendships and exchange of ideas with von Mises, Hazlitt, Paterson, Chamberlain, Hospers, etc.), then their anger is understandable, although not really justified (because they are expecting Rand to have been a perfect -infallible?- example, in action, of her own philosophy). These people need to examine the history of philosophical/ideological/ religious movements and the glaring inconsistencies that the originators, developers, and their followers have often displayed. Of course, this criticism equally applies to those that seem almost to deify Ayn Rand as being more-than-human, never making an error or omission, and view her pronouncements as above critical examination (Personally, I believe that she was one of the most brilliant philosophers, a stunning novelist, and the greatest defender and advocate of reason, human rights, and liberty. But not a "god.")
I personally have seen at least equal disapproval displayed toward the Brandens. However, ("The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics" not withstanding) this anger is similarly misplaced, totally out of proportion, and irrelevant to their positive contributions to Objectivism (which are ignored or denied).
"WHY ARE THE CLOSED SYSTEM ADVOCATES PRODUCING MORE SCHOLARLY WORKS ABOUT OBJECTIVISM THAN THE CLOSED SYSTEM ADVOCATES?"
Really? WHERE? And in what format? If you are referring to published books and journal papers, I do not see anything from the closed-system side even remotely approaching the voluminous contributions from such open system advocates as Sciabarra, Tibor Machan, Douglas Den Uyl, Douglas Rasmussen, John Hospers, etc.(especially, Tibor Machan's phenomenal published output).
It is true that ARI scholars have many recorded lectures available on tape or CD, but the audio-only format is not conducive to the dissemination, efficient study, and critical examination by scholars of the topics discussed. I would go so far as to say that the almost exclusive use of audio-only media (or worse, internet forums requiring a "loyalty oath"), shows a peculiar reticence to have their arguments examined by anyone that is not already in complete agreement with them. Other than Peikoff (who still has restricted about 90% of his output to audio-only!), I can think of only a few ARI scholars (Tara Smith springs to mind) that are openly publishing on Objectivism in book format or in scholarly journals.
But perhaps I have somehow missed the bulk of scholarly works by closed system advocates that you have alluded to, so could you please state where these published works are and where they can be found in print?
Incidentally, what effect would Ayn Rand's ideas have had if she had only issued them on tape or other audio-only media, and no books?
I greatly enjoyed your lecture on Ortega y Gasset at the 2005 TOC conference. I am sure that you have contributed much to the growth and application of Objectivism, and it sounds like you have plans to contribute much more. As a Sponsor of TOC, I would like to accept your offer of email or phone elaborations about your reasons for leaving the organization. Thanks, Jerry Biggers