Michael, it sounds to me that your definition of “open” is imprecise. Opensecret had left the file open in memory without any open windows. It seems that you are expecting a finder double-click, etc., to open a window you’re used to seeing with that file, either a form or its datasheet. Instead the finder double-click leaves the file open with its currently displayed windows, none. That is the same behavior I’d expect when double-clicking an already utility application which normally operate via windowless Dock or Menubar interfaces: no open windows, but other interface clues show they are, still, open. Maybe Pan6 opensecret files responded differently to being opened in the Finder, I’ve forgotten, but I think this is the proper behavior. The Finder shouldn’t override explicit directions within PanoramaX for a file to have no open window.
You can verify the file is open a variety of ways. it is listed in the View Organizer popup from which you can open a form or procedure window therein. You can open its datasheet via OpenView, when the all databases option is selected there. You can access the previously opensecret, not closed, file in a later procedure without first re-opening it. Secretly open files always have shown up on the Memory Usage dialog. Jim took my suggestion (thanks, Jim!) and added a popup menu there to open the datasheet on secretly open files.
Separately, I share your suspicion that closefile is asynchronous and sometimes causes problems by not finishing when PanX expects. I’ve never been able to find a consistent, straightforward enough, example to report; but coding delays at suitable points in my programs “to let things catch up” have resolved some bizarre issues for me. Based on what Jim has posted here previously I speculate an Apple problem is the cause.