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After 20 years American Digest will be moving to a subscription model

American Digest was conceived as a magazine but born as a web site in the wake of 9/11.  Indeed American Digest was begun in the afternoon of 9/11 as I posted What I Saw: Notes Made on September 11, 2001, from Brooklyn Heights as it happened from my vantage point in Brooklyn Heights about a mile from Ground Zero. There was a series of posts about that day and the months that followed on my “social media” platform at the time, The WELL. That quit when it became clear that the disease of America hating was rampant on the WELL and that my views were increasingly unpopular. 

For a bit, American Digest was a subset on Penthouse.Com since, having worked for Bob Guccione on and off for 30 years,  I was the vice-president running that site at the time. I’d just published a book called Rules of the Net and I was seen as the Internet prince. At the time the most costly thing about running a website was “bandwidth.” At Penthouse.com we bought bandwidth by the carload and had the bandwidth to burn. But Penthouse and I came to a parting of ways after it became clear that I would have to leave New York City after nearly 30 years. NYC and I had had a great run, but it was time to say goodbye.

I made American Digest an independent site after moving to Laguna Beach in 2002 and it has stayed independent ever since. It survived and was updated during my stints as the executive editor of Pajamas Media and the ill-fated Right Network.  It will remain independent but 20 years is two magazine lifetimes and things have to change.

Don’t get me wrong. I love American Digest. It is, like Dickinson says, “my letter to the world,” and like Whitman I am “hoping to cease not till death.”    

Long-time readers here will have noticed that I am not posting “written” essays that much in recent months. In the folder on my desktop optimistically titled “STORIES I MUST TELL” are over 500 drafts.  Writing my way through those tales and telling others (Yes, the Penthouse letters were real.) has gone beyond the scope of the scroll-like format of a blog. It is more like a magazine. And I spent 40 years making magazines.

In the next week or so, I’m going to be setting up a substack subscription page for longer and more involved and more “written” essays in the hopes that I will be able to continue; in hopes that although others  will claim “Everything has been said” I will be able to continue in the spirit of “I have not yet had my say.”

Stick around. You’ll see.


Or via mail to Gerard Van der Leun // 1692 Mangrove Ave Apt: 379 // Chico,CA // 95926

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • tim August 1, 2022, 1:32 PM

    Just donated a little something to help the cause and I’ll be subscribing when that becomes available.

    Appreciate your work Gerard.

    • ThisIsNotNutella August 1, 2022, 2:53 PM

      Done likewise. Don’t spend it all at once on a 3rd Wife please Gerard.

      Various Commenters: Paypal is indeed the very devil. Still we have here a Real Person’s situation vs. Muh Principles. Act accordingly.

    • ghostsniper August 2, 2022, 2:00 PM

      Wanted to jump in up top and offer some info.
      Gerard’s mailing address is over on the right —–>
      And here:

      Gerard Van der Leun
      1692 Mangrove Ave
      Apt: 379
      Chico, CA 95926
      Email: vanderleun@gmail.com

      As like many of us here, I don’t do paypal, nor any other “online” payment system.
      If you’re smart you won’t either.
      Use them enough and they’ll burn you eventually.

      Keep in mind, the payment services charge a fee for their use.
      I wanted Gerard to get ALL of the money I send him so I send him cash.
      I know, some people think that’s risky but in my mind it is no more risky than anything else.

      I put (5) twenty dollar bills in a triple folded printer paper and put that into a #10 security envelope.
      The paper had my AD ID on it and the envelope had a generic local address. (city and state only)
      I’ve done this before and I assume he got it OK.
      If not, let me know Gerard.

      I consider this a transaction between Gerard and me and it’s no one else’s business, especially you know who – who surely believes all money is there’s first and yours second. fuk em

      This rotten assed gov’t is doing almost all it can to wreck all of us financially and though my method for paying Gerard will only benefit him by a few dollars, a dollar here a dollar there, next thing you know you’re talking big coin. Besides, as financial times get tougher for all of it it pays to spend some attention on the little things. As my ol’ gray haired granny used to say, “Sonny boy, pay attention to your pennies, and the dollars will be just fine.”

      Lastly, Gerard let me (us) know a yearly amount and I’ll send the cash asap. I’m not fond of a shitload of small monthly payments.

  • Anonymous August 1, 2022, 1:37 PM

    I certainly understand. However, I hate to see you split AD into two sites. I would be happy to subscribe to this website, but I hate PayPal more than I hate two AD sites. Is there an alternative to PayPal that would allow you to keep the one site?

    • Vanderleun August 1, 2022, 2:10 PM

      I’m going to get another site other than Paypal for all of us who loathe it for all the obvious reasons. there may be an alternative, but I’ll have to see just what the level of revenue it will be. Hopefully it will be enough so I don’t have to just walk away.

  • Dan Patterson August 1, 2022, 2:01 PM

    Thanks for all you’ve done, and all you do.
    I’ll be there, and I appreciate the situation you are uncomfortably in.

  • Janna Wyman August 1, 2022, 2:52 PM

    GiveSendGo is another option. It’s similar to PayPal.
    I’m all in, how ever you choose to offer subscriptions. Wish I had known sooner about AD.
    Also, wondering how long PayPal takes to get the donations to you. Seems they take a long time to pass along the moolah, or maybe just mine ?

  • Nori August 1, 2022, 3:04 PM

    We’ll deal with the devil’s disciple PayPal until further notice.
    A world without American Digest is unthinkable.
    Thanks for your past and future efforts;we’ll be there.

  • Jack August 1, 2022, 3:05 PM

    I’m in too. Let us know when subscriptions are available.

  • julie August 1, 2022, 3:06 PM

    There’s also Stripe, Venmo or Zelle.

    Just to add another reason to hate Paypal, they ripped off our Little League’s snack bar last year. The woman in charge gave people the option of paying with Paypal in 2021, and they helpfully decided that all those small transactions for snacks and drinks must actually be illegal activity. Held the payments, refused to release her money for several months pending review. They finally decided she wasn’t selling drugs and re-opened the account, but I think they kept the money anyway. Needless to say, Paypal was not an option this spring.

  • Daniel K Day August 1, 2022, 3:08 PM

    A check’s in the mail. No, really.

  • Jack Lawson August 1, 2022, 3:30 PM

    Sending you $200 to keep the electric on.
    Sign me up for subscription also… just not through those jackasses at PayPal. I refuse to deal with them further.


  • Lance de Boyle August 1, 2022, 3:34 PM

    I’m in.

    Ever heard of PayEnemy?

    They take your money and tell you to go fuck yourself.

    “More gin, Rickie!”

  • Sid V August 1, 2022, 3:56 PM

    Not using PayPal anymore. They hate conservatives. Will get a check in the mail this week.

    Looking forward to subscribing!

  • jd August 1, 2022, 4:48 PM

    So glad to read this, Gerard. I have sent you a card
    explaining my plan but will go along with yours.
    You deserve peace of mind.

  • anonymous August 1, 2022, 4:59 PM

    Check your mail box.

  • whatever August 1, 2022, 5:02 PM

    I’m in when you get all set up! I was thinking about going onto Substack anyway, so this will be the shove.

  • Lagman August 1, 2022, 5:06 PM

    Disappointed to have my suspicions confirmed; not surprised. …Agree that there are solutions other than PayPal or the “giveme …” / “gof***me …” models. Perhaps a regional bank has a cost effective credit/debit card processing offering. Stay away from factors; you’ll never be able to exit the “relationship”. … That’s important: what is the process for, cost of … switching from whatever service provider you initially choose ? … Look at sites you are familiar with; what do their “donation pages” share about “processors” ? … As long as the “agreement” allows you to “exit the relationship” within a reasonable time without unreasonable termination/ switching costs, you will mitigate the chance of being “held hostage” to an abusive agreement. … Perhaps one of your readers is an attorney with relevant transaction experience who will advise on the “processor agreement(s)” pro bono.

  • pbird August 1, 2022, 5:08 PM

    Its a worthy cause, no doubt.

  • DLSADA August 1, 2022, 5:16 PM

    In. Now and hereafter.

  • ghostsniper August 1, 2022, 5:22 PM

    Sent you cash before and will do so again, this week.
    At the posted address.

    10 years ago Paypal and ebay tried to tagteam my ass for $900 but I was quick on the draw and snapped it off in both their asses at the same time, and never went back
    fuk em ded

  • Hillbilly Slim August 1, 2022, 5:22 PM

    Paypal could be redistributing for the good of the collective?
    I’m too broke to pay attention after gas and groceries.
    Get with some aggregators for more traffic and some of the patrons have money.

  • anonymous August 1, 2022, 5:50 PM

    If you like your bank (not Wells Fargo I hope) then ask them about their services for a business account. It is possible we could deposit directly to your bank under this arrangement. I know Navy Federal Credit Union has something like this and probably most other banks do also. They have to now with so much going on with the internet. I don’t like Zelle, DD and I had a bad experience with them, but they did correct it immediately. US Bank of course is the most left leaning bank in America. I just think if you make a business account you will have access to more payment type services.

  • John the River August 1, 2022, 6:17 PM

    As you might remember I found a very simple and efficient solution.
    Set you up as a vendor on my Ebanking bill pay and with the clicking of a few keys, viola!

    Of course when I’m declared an enemy of the state and all my contacts are investigated, then you might not be thanking me… but what can you do?

  • My two cents August 1, 2022, 6:27 PM

    I recently tried to have Safeway gift cards sent to you anonymously online, but when I thought it was all set up, it would have ended up going through paypal anyway, so I canceled the transaction. (There are no Safeway stores where I live.)

  • Hyland August 1, 2022, 7:20 PM

    You’re beautiful Gerard. I’ve sent you bucks before and I’ll send you again. However, I’m butting in with this timely remembrance… 30 years today… Ruby Ridge and the Weaver Family. This article is written concise and powerful. Everybody should read this. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/08/lessons_from_ruby_ridge.html

    • Terry August 2, 2022, 8:48 AM

      I read that AT article yesterday. I live in Idaho. All Feds are scorned and ridiculed here since the Weaver massacre. And they know it and feel it in the air. Government is murder incorporated.

      Just check out the number of children snatched away from their parents daily across the USA. Con operation known as CPS.

      Here: https://rumble.com/v1ef59d-live-world-premiere-these-little-ones.html

      Baby Cyrus (see link above) is a grandson of a close friend of ours.

    • Nori August 2, 2022, 3:01 PM

      Excellent article,thanks Hyland. What the Weaver family has endured at the hands of “government” is hideous. I’ve always been struck by Randy Weaver’s dignity and calm demeanor,then and right up to his recent passing. He and his family have shown more grace and dignity than any of the sewer vermin collecting a govt paycheck,whether in Congress or 3-letter agency.
      Terry’s right,government is murder incorporated. Funded by our tax dollars.

  • Uncle Mikey August 1, 2022, 7:30 PM

    Worth it.

  • Phil used to be in Englewood August 1, 2022, 7:36 PM

    I’m in on the Substack or whatever subscription you devise. Sending a contribution to the PO box in addition. American Digest is a treasure; thanks for all the years, the great stories, and the joy of discovering so many highlights in this life. The outstanding commenters here are icing on the cake.

  • Pebo August 1, 2022, 7:51 PM

    3-2-1 It’s a Go for liftoff. GMH, The Windhover

  • sjd August 1, 2022, 9:00 PM

    You provide essential insight and humor. Glad to help keep the lights on.

  • Concerned American August 1, 2022, 9:33 PM

    Posting at the mothership.
    As Jack (and others) said, I’m in.

  • Gordon Scott August 1, 2022, 10:09 PM

    My apologies. I should have acted before now. Paypal will do until something better is arranged.

    Locals.com is owned and operated by conservatives. It’s similar to substack, near as I can tell. They are hooked up with Rumble, and also Dailywire.com, known for razors. The people that I know there like Locals because no one’s going to cut them off for suggesting that elections might be just a bit hinky.

  • KCK August 2, 2022, 12:38 AM

    I hope I can jump on that ship on day 1. I could live without some toes or fingers, but not without AD.

  • Mike Austin August 2, 2022, 3:53 AM

    Just donated and will get a subscription when available. Gerard is worth it. American Digest is the 1st place I visit in the morning and the last stop before heading to sleep. The discussions here and Gerard’s writing are the best on the web.

  • TrangBang68 August 2, 2022, 5:18 AM

    Where do I find the P.O. box address?

    • ghostsniper August 2, 2022, 6:40 AM

      Below the white tiger on the right.
      Or here:

      Gerard Van der Leun
      1692 Mangrove Ave
      Apt: 379
      Chico, CA 95926
      Email: vanderleun@gmail.com

      • TrangBang68 August 2, 2022, 7:37 AM

        Thanks Buddy

  • iggy August 2, 2022, 7:24 AM

    Gab Pay as an option?

  • Dirk August 2, 2022, 7:49 AM

    Sub stack? I have zero idea what most of those payment plans are.
    Being old school, I’ll send cash in the mail,,,,,,, Figure out a yearly script. Not interested in 12 payments a year. One I can remember and accomplish.

    250.00 headed your way yesterday.

    • Mike Seyle August 2, 2022, 8:56 AM

      I’m with Dirk on this. Establish an annual subscription amount that can be paid by check, and I’m in. Not doing PayPal or other online methods.

  • Terry August 2, 2022, 8:35 AM

    I am in. Will wait for more details on the subscription. I cannot fathom Paypal however.

    AD is my morning wakeup with coffee.

  • Schildgen August 2, 2022, 8:59 AM

    PayPal sent, keep American digest alive!

  • Ruth August 2, 2022, 10:06 AM

    Just donated through PayPal. Will subscribe.
    Thanks for reminding us. You present A.D. (and yourself) with such confidence and self-assurance that most readers could assume things are going really well.
    Would you consider putting your P.O. Box, etc in a bigger font and a more prominent location??

  • PA Cat August 2, 2022, 10:12 AM

    Just sent you a gift card from Chewy to buy kitty necessities (and maybe some luxuries) for Olive. Money has been tight for me since the pandemic lockdowns hurt my freelance business, but I promised my two cats that they won’t go hungry or catnip-deprived no matter what. In addition to funding some goodies for your Editor, I’m thinking the card will ease your own budget, at least a little bit– and please give Olive some skritches for me.

  • Michael August 2, 2022, 11:18 AM

    I have been a long time lurker on your website. I don’t always agree with you, I often times find myself laughing at what has been posted, and many a time you have made me stop and think about my perspective on a given topic. I rate your site right up there with The Woodpile Report. In other words, it’s one of the best damn websites out there and Ol Remus is missed. I don’t wish to see another vacuum where there was once was a font of knowledge and humor.

    Too often today the truth is canceled, shouted down or ignored for the convenience of not having to be uncomfortable. You don’t do that, and it’s appreciated. You’ve called a spade a spade and have taken the good with the bad. You’ve set a fine example of what it is to be a patriot as well as what it is to be a man of resilience and truth. You don’t hide your warts and have shared the knowledge and experiences gained from the many twists and turns we all have in our lives. I have often taken the time to read the comments left by others. You have been very democratic in this regard and post the good as well as the bad.

    I consider these all to be gems, and gems like this are not easily found these days. Your work is appreciated. As I will not use PayPal I will find another way to support your efforts. American Digest is one of those lone voices calling out that everyone should take the time to listen to. More importantly, it is one of those voices that no one should hope or wish to hear silenced. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. I wish you the very best and will soon be sending my contribution to sustain your efforts.

  • Lance de Boyle August 2, 2022, 11:20 AM

    So, this Vanderleun fellow worked at Penthouse, eh? [Or, heh?]
    I guess he saw LOTS of naked womens.
    It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.
    “It was a tough job, alright, but, as has been pointed out, someone had to do it.”
    The boss had said, “Who’s gonna to look at LOTS of naked womens? I need a volunteer.”
    Gerard stepped up and said, “Okay. Okay, I will. I could be enjoying a look at other things—like Mitch McConnell’s heinous chin pouch, or Adam Schiff’s pumpkin-on-a-stick head, or Jerry Nadler’s worn-to-shiney cheap-ass pants and his violin-case-sized clod hoppers, but I will. And I hope you all appreciate the sacrifice. A day without gawking in wonder at Mitch McConnell’s chin is like (or, as i ’twere) a day without sunshine.”

    The womens came and (as you may have guessed) the womens went. And Gerard didn’t stand up from his desk for many a year.

    • Vanderleun August 2, 2022, 6:32 PM

      Someday…. perhaps on substack I’ll tell tales of those days… not as rapacious as most would think… but sometime… well, later gator.

  • Mary Ann August 2, 2022, 1:02 PM

    I’ve never had a problem with PayPal, though I know a few who have. I don’t use it much. I like Dirk’s analog idea. (Being mostly old school myself.). Whatever you decide…I’m in. After so long, you are part of our days now.

    • My two cents August 2, 2022, 3:21 PM

      I am against Paypal because it is leftist and untrustworthy, and I don’t want to give it my personal information. (Although it–and cronies–probably already have it.) GoFundMe confiscated the funds of people (including Americans) who donated to the Canadian truckers/allies, and begrudgingly finally returned the donors’ money due to backlash, if I remember correctly. Of course they have all those people’s personal information. The Canadian govt now has legislative (mandated?) power to order the banks there to freeze people’s accounts if the govt decides they don’t like them. Toodough is in power for another 3 years, due to an internal political deal with another party. The banks are on board with it. Oh what a tangled web they weave (have woven). “A pox on both (your) houses.”

  • Kevin August 2, 2022, 2:58 PM

    I should have donated earlier, but I donated today. I’ve been enjoying this site since at least near the beginning. I will definitely subscribe to any future site you have.
    Best Regards

  • foo August 2, 2022, 3:00 PM

    Hit the PP tip jar, G.
    Looking forward to following you on Substack- good move!

  • Hoss August 3, 2022, 4:32 AM

    All in Gerard. After some morning prayers AD is always 1st when I begin my day.

  • jd August 3, 2022, 5:06 AM

    Is the cat Olive? I love that picture! In Hari Krishna mode?

  • Mac Siccar August 3, 2022, 6:27 AM

    I found several articles with alternatives to PayPal. I tried Skrill, but its website wouldn’t let me set up an account.


  • leelu August 3, 2022, 8:22 AM

    Your’s will be the first site I will have ever subscribed to.