The Alaskan Bush People is one of those juicy reality television shows that you find yourself tuning into for five minutes, and by the end of the day, you've gone through the entire seven seasons. This Discovery Channel hit is a rabbit hole of what-in-the-actual-hell. You want to stop watching it, but you just can't.
The show revolves around Billy and Ami Brown, and their seven oddly-named grown children, as they supposedly rough it while living in the rugged Alaskan wilderness. The most capitalizing thing about the show is how full of nonsense the storylines really are. While the Browns do their best to convince viewers that they thrive off of isolation, cramped quarters and steady diets of roots and leaves, that premise couldn't be farther from the truth. When the cameras are turned off, the Browns are anything but the wilderness people they pretend to be. Over the last seven seasons, so much truth has come out regarding the family's authenticity. Are they or aren't they living out among the wolves and bears?
Here are fifteen secrets that the shady Alaskan Bush Liars really don't want us to know about. Too late, we are onto you.
15 They Order Pizza Hut In The Wild
The Brown Family is famous for their rough and tough life out in the Alaskan Wilderness. They claim to be completely off-grid with no signs of civilization nearby, but really how accurate is that? While they do film in Alaska, they are not nearly as isolated as they claim to be. The first Brown home was actually located only ten miles from town, that's about a six-minute drive to civilization. Not exactly out there on their own, are they? Aside from being a hop, skip and a jump from shops and eateries, they only lived half a mile from a popular town pizzeria. So while the Bush People would like to have us all believe that they are shooting and skinning each meal, they are probably ordering up Hot and Ready pizzas after a long day of filming.
14 Billy And Bam Bam Spent Time In The Slammer
Billy and Bam Bam have actually spent some time in the slammer, thanks to their devious scams against the government. Patriarch Bill and his son Bam Bam (whose real name is Joshua), both served thirty days in jail after it was revealed that they helped themselves to over twenty grand from the state of Alaska. Back in 2014, the family was slapped with sixty counts of unsworn falsification and a multitude of theft charges, stemming from their lies on Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend applications. The Bush Boys had to spend a month behind bars, in addition to paying a fine. The rest of the family's charges were dropped. It seems like the residents of Browntown have made deception one of the cornerstones of their family.
13 The "Secret Sister"
The show made it a point to create a tug-at-your-heartstrings storyline revolving around Papa Billy and his long-lost daughter. When Billy was just sixteen years old, he became a father to a little girl. He married the baby's teenage mother, and the pair had a second child, before splitting up for good. Billy claimed that he had not seen the baby, Twila, in over thirty years, and their tearful reunion played out on our television screens. The other Brown kids acted as if they were just meeting their long-lost sister and the whole family seemed overcome with joy and raw emotion. The family members are certainly fantastic actors, as friends close to Twila claim that she reconnected with her biological father and his children years ago, and they have spent some time together.
12 Their Neighbors Aren't Pleased
Another clue that leads us to believe these Bush people don't actually live that far away from civilization is the fact that they have neighbors. And their neighbors are not their biggest fans. One family, who lives close to the Browns, got downright fed up when the helicopter filming crew swooped so close to his home that the entire structure shook, during a family dinner. The dad was cheesed, so he went outside and did what any rational woodsman would do: he started lighting firecrackers and pointing them in the direction of the crew. The police were called, but no charges were ever filed. Sounds like the neighbors aren't the only ones who have had their fill of the Brown Bonanza taking over town. The police don't seem all that charmed with them either.
11 Matt's Struggle With The Bottle
The eldest son, Matt Brown, is definitely the show's character with the most demons. Many of these demons come to light when he hits the bottle. Thankfully, Matt has entered rehab to seek treatment for his alcohol abuse, but the stint that probably forced his hand was a real doozy of a night in Juneau. Brown reportedly met up with a woman in a local bar, whom he took home with him. While he was driving her car, in the early morning hours, he crashed into a parked vehicle in a Walmart parking lot. When he attempted to explain to the officers that he was just running to the store for some snacks, they administered a breathalyzer. Matt not only blew way over the legal limit, but he also hurled into the thing.
10 Living In A Cozy Lodge?
One of the long-standing, super shady secrets involving the Brown family is that they don't actually live at the homestead, that The Discovery Channel shows them hanging out at. That home is merely part of the set that is used while filming. When the family is not filming, however, they reportedly shack up at the lovely Ice Strait Lodge in Hoonah, Alaska. While Hoohah is no major city, it is a popular stopping point for cruise ships and is nowhere near off the grid, which is how the Browns pretend to live. Insiders claim that the family, as well as show producers and the film crew, stay nice and cozy up at the lodge, which is a far cry from the rustic and cramped quarters we see them staying in while filming out in the wilderness.
9 They Moved Around For Years
The show makes viewers believe that the Browns have known nothing other than life in the Alaskan wilderness for the last few decades, but this is simply untrue. Billy and the gang have been living it up in Cali, while Amy fights her battle with stage four lung cancer. But even prior to Ami's health issues, the clan spent many years living on "the mainland." For a time, the Browns moved back to Texas, where Ami and Billy are originally from so that Billy could focus on becoming a writer. They also took up a residence in Colorado, before returning to the Alaskan wilderness. So while the family needs viewers to believe that they entirely live this authentically rustic lifestyle, there most definitely periods where they lived very similarly to you and me.
8 The Cowspiracy
Sabrina, the cow, was apparently bought by Billy to keep on the homestead, in an effort to stay as independent of outside needs as the Browns possibly can be. Insiders claim after the cow was purchased and necessary scenes were filmed back at Brownstown with Sabrina, the animal was immediately given away! Sabrina's stint in the village was merely another storyline set up to gain viewership but was never an authentic addition to the clan. The discarded cow's fake residence on the homestead is yet another secret that the family tried to pass off as truth. Wonder why they've never shown the cow in recent seasons? Well, now you know! Sabrina now lives her life with an Alaskan local who took her in after the Browns so carelessly tossed her aside post-filming.
7 Matt's Major Mistake
Eldest bro, Matt, is a bit of a hot mess. He recently showed just how unstable he really can be when his poor choices led to a very serious injury. Matt was at the Alaskan compound by himself, while the rest of the family was in sunny California, which was where mom Ami was receiving her cancer treatments. He claims that he got a bit overworked and paranoid with the bears that had been frequenting the property, and accidentally detonated a bear deterrent made of black powder. The explosion took off a piece of Matt's scalp and he had to be airlifted to a Juneau hospital where doctors closed the wound. Matt's mistake had viewers wondering if his recent struggle with alcohol had anything to do with his improvised call. You would think that someone like him would be well-versed in wilderness safety measures.
6 The Secret Vacation Getaway
For a family who wants us to believe that their greatest wish in life is to steer clear of all human activity, they sure took an out of character vacation back in 2016. While the Discovery Channel portrays the Browns as a family who chooses to isolate themselves in the Alaskan wilderness, the real-life Browns clearly have no problem leaving the chilly north for a little sun and surf. They even vacationed in Hawaii, of all places! The Brown family reportedly jetted off to the islands, as Ami's mother made a 7,000-mile trek to the Alaskan wilderness to say her final goodbyes to Ami. Ami and her mother, Earlene, had not had any contact for over thirty years, making this vacation getaway even more perplexing. Obviously, no one was all that interested in meeting Grandma.
5 Billy's Childhood Of Privilege
These days, Billy and his family appear to live off the land and have no need, or desire, for the finer things in life. Interestingly Billy's childhood could not have been more opposite to the life he now lives with his wife and children. Billy was born into a world of privilege in Texas, thanks to his father's position as president of a large Texas limo company. The Bush Papa became accustomed to new cars, boats and fancy clothes for birthdays, although he claims that he wanted for nothing. All of that changed in 1969 when Billy's family was tragically killed in a freak plane crash. Billy was left destitute and alone, and had to perform odd jobs in Texas and New Mexico just to survive and make ends meet.
4 Ami's Turbulent Past
The Brown matriarch is believed to have a pretty disturbing past. While Ami's family remains adamant that Billy's controlling and manipulative demeanor is what ultimately caused the rift between Ami and her family, she tells a very different and disturbing tale of why she left her kin and never looked back. The future Mrs. Brown grew up outside of Fort Worth Texas with her parents and two brothers. Her family claims that out of all the children, Ami was spoiled rotten, being the baby and the only girl in the brood. Ami once alleged that her childhood home was filled with violence, and that was why she married so incredibly young. Her family says that couldn't be farther from the truth and the kids were rarely even spanked. So who is telling a more realistic tale here? Ami or her family? The Bush People Truth Telling track record isn't so hot so...
3 The Name Game
Television shows, like The Alaskan Bush People, are notorious for gifting their cast with names that suit the tone of the show, rather than the names that were written on their birth certificates. Two of the grown brothers on ABP are called Bam Bam and Bear. These names are far more fitting for the wild men of the wilderness compared to what their mother might call them. Their real names are Joshua and Soloman. The show's writers thought those names were far too milquetoast for a family claiming to be one step up from a pack of animals. So the brothers got new monikers to help sell their image. Their little sister, Rainy, didn't get a new name for the show, but she was probably pleading for one considering her full name is Merry Christmas Katherine Raindrop Brown. Are there no laws in place so that people can't do that to an innocent child?
2 Moving Mayhem
So the Brown Family decided that their off-grid living quarters was far too suburban for their liking. After all, they would like viewers to believe that they are hardcore naturalists living only off of the barren lands of frigid Alaska. They uprooted the family and moved them to Chacagof Island. The Discovery Channel made sure to elaborate on the family's storyline and described this space as "deeper into the wilderness." Problem is, that is way off-base description of the island town. According to the website Travel Alaska, Chacagof Island is a popular tourist destination packed full of family fun activities. In the town, there is the world's largest and highest zip line, a museum, as well as local shops and restaurants. Not exactly off-grid living, Browns.
1 Ami Lives In Isolation
Ami Brown is Billy's wife and the mother of their seven children. Before she was Mrs. Billy Brown, Ami was a young Texas teen itching to get out of the Lone Star state. The future Mrs. Brown was only fifteen years old when she tied the knot with an older Billy, who was twenty-six at the time of their wedding. Ami's mother did give permission for her teen girl to marry this grown man, but she swears that she made Billy promise to let Ami finish high school. That never happened though, because as soon as Bill and his child-bride wed, she dropped out of high school and severed all communication ties with her family. Billy reportedly told Ami's mother that whatever his wife did from there on out was none of her business and that she belonged to him now.
Sources: The Hollywood Gossip, Screen Rant,The Looper, I Heart Radio, The Richest