Here is a crucially important bit of information from a customer:
"Just to let you know it wasn’t your software. It was a bug in SQL Server 2000 that was fixed with SP4. We were only on SQL Server 2000 SP3 on the box that was having the problem."
It seems that the basics of calling ActiveX components from SQL Server stored procedures do not work correctly with SQL Server SP3. In this case, the Chilkat customer was simply trying to instantiate an ActiveX component can fetch the Version property.
Here is the link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816937/EN-US/