Remove the OpenGL plug-in! Assuming you are talking about Windows XP, that would be C:\Program Files\Adobe\After Effects 6.5\Plug-Ins\Extensions\AE_OpenGL.aex. Other than that you could have a bad font or something. Also clean out the prefs in your user home directory.
I removed the plug-in as you suggested, and AE opened as it was designed to do. Thank you so much. I did not clean out the prefs... not sure where the user home directory would be found. By the way, what is the purpose of the OpenGL plug-in? Why would it be included as part of the program if it won't let the program open?
Have a Merry Christmas! Mine is already sweeter.
The OpenGL plug-in is made to render some things faster, but it is not reliable on all computer systems, so it is oftena good idea to disable it. The results are not high-quality, anyway (since it's just a preview renderer), so you're not missing anything important.