Here is a small timeline and some links of how all this came about and what impacted the attitudes:
- 1981 (October and December) – "The Primacy of Existence" by David Kelley is published in two parts in The Objectivist Forum. This is essentially the first chapter of his later book, The Evidence of the Senses: A Realist Theory of Perception.
- 1982 (March 6) – Ayn Rand died.
- 1982 (May) – The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff was published. An advance review was published in the April edition of The Objectivist Forum.
- 1982 – According to the former owner, Andrea Rich, Peikoff participated in two book signings for Laissez Faire Books that year. The first time (June 10) was at the LFB store in Greenwich Village on Mercer Street and the second a few months later in New Orleans, at the LFB booth at the annual conference of the National Committee for Monetary Reform (the same organization where Ayn Rand gave here last public appearance a year earlier in Nov. 1981).
- 1983 - Biannual summer conferences in Objectivism were held by The Jefferson School, which grew rapidly over the years.
- 1985 - The Ayn Rand Institute was founded. The Objectivist movement apparently was on an upswing.
- 1985 (May 10, June 25 and December 4) - Peter Schwartz published "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty" in The Intellectual Activist in 3 parts, stating that orthodox Objectivism will have nothing to do with libertarianism.
- Up to 1986 – An underlying tension in the Objectivist movement concerned whether or not Rand really did have an affair with Nathaniel Branden. It is hard to imagine this climate now, but there is a very good story about what it was like back then by Robert Bidinotto.
- 1986 (March) - The Evidence of the Senses: A Realist Theory of Perception by David Kelley was published to critical acclaim.
- 1986 (May) - The Passion of Ayn Rand by Barbara Branden was published and became a national bestseller. People on the orthodox side shut themselves off and started becoming very intolerant of any criticism at all of Rand.
- 1986 (June) – A glowing review of PAR by Robert Bidinotto appeared in the Objectivist newsletter On Principle. Kelley was on the Editorial Advisory Board and according to an account by Bidinotto, he refused to bow to intense pressure from Peikoff, who wanted him to leave because of the review.
- 1986 (June) – A glowing review of PAR was written also by Roy Childs of Laissez Faire Books and Laissez Faire actively pushed the book, which, together with its libertarian focus, made the organization a persona non grata to the members of orthodox Objectivism.
- 1986 (June 26) - Peikoff published a statement in The Intellectual Activist ("In Response to Inquiries") claiming that PAR was written against Rand's wishes, denouncing Barbara as immoral and an enemy of Objectivism as held by Rand and stating that he does not intend to read it.
- 1986 (August 20) - An Untitled Letter from Peter Schwartz was included as a separate insert in The Intellectual Activist denouncing Barbara for having made a mess of her life and PAR as "pseudo-Freudian" and arbitrary (in his own words, "entirely outside the cognitive realm"). He also stated, indicative of the orthodoxy's new position on the affair with NB, "Ultimately, what real difference is there if any of the factual allegations made by Barbara Branden – or anyone else of her ilk – happen to have actually taken place? Ayn Rand's glorious achievement is her philosophy and her literature."
- 1986-1989 – Tensions gradually increased between Kelley and Peikoff.
- 1988 (November 10) – David Kelley gave a speech "Objectivism and the Struggle for Liberty" at the Laissez Faire Supper Club of Manhattan (NY).
- 1989 (January) – Judgment Day by Nathaniel Branden was published. This was revised and published in 1998 (November) under the name of My Years With Ayn Rand.
- 1989 (February 27) – "On Sanctioning the Sanctioners" by Peter Schwartz was published in The Intellectual Activist stating the official orthodox Objectivist stance against speaking at libertarian events.
- 1989 (March) – "A Question of Sanction,", an open letter by David Kelley, was sent privately to about 30 people with authorization to copy and distribute it. It became widely discussed in the Objectivist community.
- 1989 (May 18) – "Fact and Value" by Leonard Peikoff was published in The Intellectual Activist, claiming that Objectivism was a closed system and speaking out against Kelley.
- 1989 (May 18) – "On Moral Sanctions" by Peter Schwartz was published in The Intellectual Activist, written as an addendum to "Fact and Value".
- 1990 – The Institute for Objectivist Studies was founded. Later called The Objectivist Center, and now called The Atlas Society.
- 1990 – Truth and Toleration by David Kelley was published privately, expanding on the issues raised in "A Question of Sanction" that were criticized by Peikoff and Schwartz. In 2000 (September), this was revised and reissued under a new title, The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand (free PDF download).
- 1991 (December) - Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff was published.
Fallout: What some people in the Objectivist movement have written about works and aspects of the schism
The whole episode
Discussion of this whole episode on the old SoloHQ with several fascinating posts, starting with Davis Brown's post. Several links to this thread have already been given in the selective timeline.
"Short chronology and comments on the articles and actions involved in David Kelley's rejection of Objectivism" - Anti-Kelley version by Jerry Nilson.
"POP culture: Premises Of Post-Objectivism" - Letter from Kirsti Minsaas to Harry Binswanger (1989)
Robert J. Bidinotto
"Facts, Values and Moral Sanctions: An Open Letter To Objectivists" (1989)
"Understanding Peikoff" (1994)
"Rand Versus Peikoff" (1994)
"Leonard Peikoff's Fact and Value: A Critique" by Kevin McFarlane (1994) - PDF
"An Open Letter to the Ayn Rand Institute" by D. Moskovitz (2001)
"Reintroducing the Measurements: An Old Fallacy with a New Name" by Bennett C. Karp, published in 1989/1990 (Vol. 2, No. 3) issue of Objectively Speaking
"Notes on 'A Question of Sanction'" by Robert W. Tracinski (1989, revised 1994 and 1996)
Diana Hsieh - recent anti-Kelley crusade
"Ayn Rand on David Kelley" (July 27, 2005)
"The Open System, One More Time" (December 12, 2005)
"David Kelley Versus Ayn Rand on Kant" (February 19, 2006)
"David Kelley's Mind-Body Dichotomy in Moral Judgment" (March 17, 2006)
Other sources of links
The ARI-TOC Dispute at the Objectivism Reference Center