Meet the Brown Family, reality television's favorite off-the-grid gang.
This wilderness-based group of kin consists of eclectic Patriarch Billy, his loving and faithful wife Ami, and their seven grown children. The close-knit Browns give viewers a glimpse into living a life far away from the creature comforts that most mainstream folks enjoy.
Where the Browns choose to be is a ways away from paved roads, malls, WiFi, and even running water! They reside way off the beaten path, up in the remote Copper River Valley part of the Alaskan wilderness where temperatures often drop to sixty degrees below zero.
Everything that they do with their every waking moment is for the family's survival. If they want to eat, they have to go out and find their food. If they need warmth, they better get their ax, and if they need to do some washing, then it's off to the closest water source for the Browns.
For the most part, the Discovery Channel has done an excellent job of showcasing this family's unique way of life, highlighting their talents, struggles, and tight bond. While the television station has undoubtedly done its best to paint fans a picture of wilderness living at its finest, there are still some lingering questions about these Alaskan Bush people that need answers. Some pieces to this puzzle just don't fit!
20 Down The Street Delivery Service
Show producers want viewers to wholeheartedly believe that every morsel of food that touches the Brown family's lips comes from their keen gathering and hunting skills. While the family does do their fair share of working for their meals, they could choose a much easier route at dinnertime.
According to sources, there is a pizza place within miles of the Browns' log cabin. The Discovery Channel makes it look like there is not a soul around for miles and miles, but someone is close by flipping pizzas. The Browns might even be able to smell the aroma from their front porch.
19 Fake Fireworks
One of the more intriguing plot lines in season one revolved around the Browns' dispute over their land. The show made it look like the family was under attack and in danger when they claimed that they heard firearms discharging from disgruntled neighbors. The truth is there were some annoyed neighbors, but they weren't doing anything harmful or malicious.
They were actually setting off fireworks in retaliation to the show's production team and their noise. The frustrated neighbor was merely trying to shoo off the chaos that the show brought along with it. The neighbor in question also disagreed with how the show was portraying Alaskans.
18 Fake Family Cow
Who could forget the Brown family's sweet cow Sabrina? The clan brought the cow back to their homestead so that they would have access to fresh milk and dairy with ease, but Sabrina might have been mostly for show. When all was said and done, and Sabrina had her fifteen minutes of fame, she was on her way to her next home. She stayed with the Browns for roughly one month before she was sent packing.
Either the Browns aren't big dairy fans or Sabrina was merely purchased by the television channel for the sake of a couple of plot lines. At least Sabrina didn't end up in a burger, which was where she could have ended up otherwise.
17 Long Lost Daughter?
While Billy and Ami Brown have seven children between them who all appear on the family's Discovery Channel show, Billy has more offspring from a previous relationship. Before he married Ami, he fathered two other children.
While Billy lost contact with his pre-Ami children, his daughter Twila never forgot her father and the show made it a point to showcase their dramatic father-daughter reunion. While fans saw Billy and Twila share tender moments after being separated for decades, many sources say that those moments were all for ratings and the two had been in contact with one another for many years.
16 Billy And Ami's Very Early Marriage
Billy and Ami Brown are now starting to age and are even entering the grandparent stage of life. The longtime couple has been battling health issues, common to people who begin to pile on the decades. When you watch these two, it seems like their souls are connected, as if they have known one another forever, and they kind of have.
Billy married Ami when she was only fifteen years old! He, on the other hand, was 26 years old and was already a father when he took up with Ami. While that kind of union is technically frowned upon, Ami's parents gave their permission for the two to wed.
15 Noah's Love Interest Has Acting Credit
It seemed like Noah Brown had found himself a nice girlfriend to settle down with during one season. He even liked her enough to bring her back to the family compound and sing her a little heartfelt, albeit awkward, tune about his ex-girlfriend. True Alaskan Bush People fans did some digging on this supposed girlfriend of Noah's and discovered that she wasn't all that she seemed to be.
Noah's "girlfriend" is an actress named Karynna Kauffman. If you go to her IMDb page you'll see that she has several acting credits to her name, none of which are Alaskan Bush People.
14 Alaskans Detest The Show
The hit reality television show Alaskan Bush People has managed to gather millions of adoring fans, but not everyone is in love with how the cast and production team chooses to portray the everyday Alaskan. Many Alaskan residents feel like the Brown Family exploits the culture of Alaskans in a stereotypical way that does not reflect the vast majority of the people.
In particular, the people of Hoonah, Alaska have accused the show of being completely inauthentic. They also appear miffed at the commotion that a reality show like this one has created in their quiet lives. You can't please everyone, it seems.
13 Bam's City Girl
Back in 2017, Bam Brown managed to find love in the most surprising of places. While most people would assume that the Brown offspring would end up dating and marrying someone with similar goals and lifestyle views, Bam's heart was stolen by a lady who is the total opposite of him.
He fell hard for a "city girl," and she was right under his nose the entire time. This "city girl" was none other than Allison Kagan, a producer on the show. The two have since left the bush and are living the good life on a refurbished yacht. It didn't take much for this Brown to adopt a more leisurely lifestyle.
12 'Browntown' Is On Someone Else's Land
The family supposedly built a home named Browntown with their own hands on a plot of remote land that they owned. Seems like a logical enough possibility, but many say that some details here are a bit skewed. The cabin that the Browns live in on the show is set back in the [Hoonah Ranger District] Tongass National Forest.
It's unlikely that the Browns can claim ownership of something that sits on that land, even with a special permit. We also have to wonder if these reality stars live there full time, considering the shack has no running water nor any electricity. That would be a deal breaker for many of us.
11 But The Family Doesn't Always Stay There
Yeah, we figured. In one particular season, the family had to leave home number one and relocate their clan elsewhere. They took off for remote Chichagof Island because they said it was further away from civilization and deeper into the forest. It turns out that Chichagof Island is a trendy tourist destination, full of activity and people.
The island contains a museum, world-class zip line, local arts, and crafts shops, restaurants, and a mid-1930's cannery line display. Some of the locals claim that when the reality cast is not shooting their scenes, they are living at the Icy Strait Lodge in Hoonah.
10 Do They Even Live In Alaska?
According to the Juneau Empire, the Brown family has not been all that forthcoming about their actual place of residence. This omission of residency has landed them in some sticky situations. Some members of the clan pled guilty to lying on their Permanent Fund Dividend forms, which is a program that allows Alaskan residents to collect annual funding from the state.
Of course, you have to live there to receive the money, so when it came to light that the Browns were living elsewhere, the state had something to say about it. Breaking the law is breaking the law, whether you live on the grid or off of it.
9 They Live In The Wilderness And Vacation In Paradise?
It seems like a strange concept, but the Browns would have us all believe that they live in the remote wilderness lands of rugged Alaska when they often pack up their suitcases and vacation in some of the most high-class, tropical paradises in the world! In 2017, many of the Brown family members were spotted relaxing off of the sunny shores of Hawaii.
Taking such a large vacation to the islands for some fun in the sun is no small task, nor an inexpensive one, so we have to wonder how much of the on-air, impoverished, off-grid lifestyle is true. Most people living in self-built shacks with no running water cannot afford lavish vacations.
8 Patriarch Billy Brown Was Born With A Silver Spoon
Watching patriarch Billy Brown live his life out onscreen, no one would ever guess that he was born into a world of wealth and privilege. Billy claims that his family owned a huge, lucrative Texas limo company and when he was a youngster, he was mostly given anything his heart desired. He says that he was gifted new boats and cars for his birthdays and never went a day without whatever he needed.
All of this privilege vanished, apparently when Billy's parents passed away in 1969. It seems strange that he would not inherit enough to keep him living a stable life, but he claims after that he had to do odd jobs to survive.
7 The Name Change
Another thing that is not what it seems when it comes to the Browns is their names, and not just their legal ones but also the one for their show. Originally the Alaskan Bush People was called Alaskan Wilderness Family, which is also the name of the family's website that the gang uses to market Billy's books.
While the term "Alaskan Wilderness Family" is true enough to the show's storylines, "Bush People" sounds a bit more unique and intriguing. We think that whoever decided to change the name to the one that we have come to know probably made a solid choice.
6 Browns Behind Bars
Because of their past fraudulent behavior, a couple of the Browns were supposed to spend some lonely nights in the slammer. Billy and Bam Brown received sentences to thirty days for collecting funds from the state for residing in Alaska, when in fact they were living somewhere else entirely. Aside from being sentenced to living life behind bars for a month, they also had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution.
The father-son duo never actually stepped foot inside of a cell, however. Instead, they underwent electronic monitoring in Juneau. The rest of the Browns got off with nothing due to a plea deal.
5 Bill Brown Is A Published Author
Billy Brown is not only a woodsman, a pioneer, and a reality television show star; he is also a published author. Brown wrote a book called One Wave At A Time, back in 2007. He and his family then journeyed to the lower 48 states in hopes of turning the written work into a film project of sorts.
Somehow they managed to accomplish their goal and returned to the north with a production crew in tow, with the goal of creating a onetime documentary based on the book's events. Of course, we all know that instead of a documentary, a series was born, but people still wonder how authentic the show's events and plotlines are when the whole thing stems from the book events in the first place.
4 Billy And Ami's Complicated History With Her Family
Ami's parents did give their consent for their young daughter Ami to marry a much older Billy, but that doesn't mean that they were smitten with the fellow. In fact, there are some severe tensions between Billy and Ami's family. Ami's mother and brother claim that they have been estranged from Ami for the last thirty-five years because of Billy's controlling ways.
Ami's kin believes that Billy does all of the talking and Ami is not encouraged to speak up or form her own opinions. When Ami made remarks about the less-than-loving environment that she grew up in, her family said that everything she said was completely fabricated.
3 On-Set Mishaps Make Us Wonder How Capable These Fellows Are
Matt Brown has had his fair share of missteps over the years. He has struggled with some personal issues, and, apparently, safety out in the woods. We think it is fair to say that of all the Browns, it is Matt who struggles with making responsible decisions. One time Matt accidentally blew his fridge up and sent the refrigerator door flying his way.
The metal hit his scalp and sent him right to the hospital to get stitched up. Matt is a bit of a loose cannon, and his choices strike us as impulsive. Hopefully, he gets some help so that he can continue to live in the wilderness safely. Safety and responsibility have to come before all when living this rugged lifestyle.
2 Their Television Names Are Not Their Legal Names
The cast members of this outside-of-the-box show have some unique given names that do not exactly roll right off the tongue. When it comes to naming their kids, Ami and Billy Brown have certainly put some thought into each moniker. Bam Bam's real name is Joshua, thank goodness. His middle name is still Bam Bam though, which makes us wonder where his parents' heads were at.
Bear Brown's name is Solomon, so at least he has that going for him, and Birdy's name is Amora, after her mother Ami (whose true name is also Amora). Rainy's given name is probably the most perplexing of them all. Her full name is Merry Christmas Katherine Raindrop Brown.
1 Ami And Billy Are From Texas
The Discovery Channel markets the Bush People as the most Alaskan wilderness folks that you could ever come across, which is ironic considering the state that Billy and Ami hail from. These lovebirds were born and bred far away from the remote Alaskan wilderness in The Lonestar State, of all places.
That's right! Ami and Bill were born, met and fell in love in Texas, not Alaska. It was also here in Texas that Billy Brown started his first family, marrying a young woman and having two kids, before moving on to Ami and creating the empire they now oversee.
Sources: InTouch Weekly, Nicki Swift, Looper, Country Living, Radar Online