What is “Alaskan Bush People”?

“Alaskan Bush People” is a wildly successful docudrama reality series that premiered on Discovery Channel in May 2014. Following the comings and goings of the Brown family, isolated from society and living in the wilderness, filming takes place in Alaska and Okanogan County, Washington State, depending on the season.

Viewers are undeniably fascinated by the Browns’ eccentric lifestyle – they can go without seeing outsiders for up to nine months a year; they have developed their own dialect, accent, and customs, and call themselves a “wolf pack”. In Copper River Valley, where the Browns currently live, temperatures can plummet to a shocking 60 degrees below zero in cold seasons. Luckily, and by learning from experience, the family have developed the necessary skills to survive and thrive in such a harsh environment.

Despite criticism over staged and scripted scenes, the family has actually overcome many real-life dramas together, such as losing their house in the 2020 Washington wildfires and coping with the death of their patriarch, Billy Brown, in early 2021. Season 13 of the show aired in September 2021, with new episodes coming on 2nd October 2022.

Meet the Browns

The Brown family has grown in size over the years thanks to new arrivals and despite the occasional loss. Billy and Ami Brown, who are arguably one of the world’s most famous off-the-grid couples, married in 1980, and went on to have seven children: Matt, Joshua, Bear, Gabe, Noah, Snowbird and Rain. In the first season, the Brown siblings were aged 30, 28, 25, 22, 20, 18, and 10 years old respectively, meaning that in Rain’s case, fans have quite literally seen her grow up.

Sadly, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the wolfpack. Matt became estranged from his parents in 2016, having checked into rehab for help with his alcohol addiction. After five weeks in an inpatient treatment center, he returned briefly to his family – but then in 2018 decided to stay in California, when the Browns moved from Alaska to Washington State.

2018 was definitely not a good year for Matt, as two women came forward claiming to have been sexually assaulted by the former TV star. Jessica Jurges, the family’s former personal assistant, alleged to have been raped by Matt in a swimming pool after he ripped her swimsuit off. -Apparently, the ordeal lasted two and a half hours and she was saved by Matt’s manager at the time, Shelly Dawn.

Shockingly, Shelly herself claimed to have been raped by the Brown’s oldest child just three days after the first incident took place. An investigation was launched by LAPD’s Topanga Division, and the case passed on to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, although they would ultimately decline to prosecute.

Shortly after the media frenzy caused by Jessica and Shelly’s interviews, Matt checked into rehab again, and tried to turn his life around with a YouTube channel and other ventures. In March 2021, he celebrated one year of sobriety – but the happy news was overshadowed by bombshell allegations regarding the show.

Shocking the internet, Matt claimed in a nine-minute Instagram video that producers left out important details when pitching the show to Discovery – such as the fact that the Brown family occasionally used electricity, and had a generator and TV. The troubled YouTuber said that he turned to drugs to cope with the lies portrayed in the series… if his claims are to be believed, the producers certainly didn’t help by allegedly giving the Brown family cocaine, thus enabling his addiction.

Less surprising is the fact that Matt has little to no money despite the show’s success. “Because my dad controlled everything, all the money went to him,” he continued. “My dad kept all that.” These days, the Brown’s firstborn leads a simple lifestyle with his pet dog and a close-knit group of friends. He doesn’t seem interested in reconciling with his family for now, but time will tell.

Joshua, nicknamed “Bam Bam”, loves art and nature, and lives by the tagline “respect the danger”. The most energetic and adventurous of the Brown kids, it was announced that Joshua would be leaving the show in February 2017, after finding love with his glamorous girlfriend Allison Kagan. In a touching interview with People magazine, the bespectacled celebrity said: “She’s stirred something inside me and made my soul wake up… I hope we can blend our lives together, and I can take her back to Alaska.”

In May 2022, Joshua was involved in a fatal head-on collision in which a 24-year-old woman died. It was reported that “both vehicles struck each other’s corners”, as Joshua’s vehicle was driving northbound and the other vehicle southbound. Joshua was treated at Mid Valley Hospital and only suffered minor injuries.

Joshua has proven himself a master of adapting to the times, and charges up to hundreds of dollars for personalized cameo videos in which he speaks to his fans. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Allison is a director, producer, photographer, and editor, who has worked on famous shows such as “90 Day Fiancé”. She is currently a consulting producer for Discovery, and met Joshua through the show.

Although various internet sources claim that there was much tension between Allison and the Brown patriarchs which was the driving force behind Joshua’s decision to leave, he was understandably devastated when his father died, and penned him a touching online tribute.

Looks like the Browns are still in CO. Here's Bam with Rainy and Allison. Merry Christmas! #AlaskanBushPeople

Posted by Joshua Bam Bam Brown II on Sunday, December 25, 2016

Meet the Browns – Part Two

Bear, the thirdborn of the family, is one of the Brown’s most troubled individuals. As recently as March 2022, he was arrested on a fourth-degree domestic violence charge just two months after tying the knot with his wife, Raiven Adams. Bear – real name Solomon – was brought to Okanogan County Jail following his arrest.

In the state of Washington, fourth-degree assault is defined as attempted battery on another person, whereas a fourth-degree domestic violence charge means that the victim must be part of the family household. According to police reports, Bear and Raiven got into an argument while moving between residences. Bear also tried to take Raiven’s phone and immobilize her.

Bear was released from jail without bond after a few days, perhaps because there were no obvious injuries on Raiven apart from a scratched finger. A court date was set for April 2022 – it was confirmed that Bear was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that he hadn’t strangled or choked his wife. In May 2022, the couple revealed they were expecting a second child.

In happier times, Bear and Raiven had welcomed their son River Anthony in early March 2020. However, River’s birth was far from easy as he arrived prematurely and weighed just 4 pounds, 15 ounces, about 2kgs. Three days after River’s birth, Bear filed a petition to establish paternity, as the pair were not on good terms at the time, but they reconciled shortly afterwards, so it seems that their relationship has always been on and off.

Bear is currently working on a horror short entitled “Fear No Evil”. The TV star sparked concerns after uploading a gruesome photo on Instagram in which he could be seen wielding an ax and spattered in a reddish liquid that looked like blood. Thankfully, the photo was just a still from his short.

The fourth Brown brother, Gabe, was homeschooled like the rest of his siblings, and has always loved artd. In 2019, he married his long-time girlfriend Raquell twice – a legal ceremony in January, and a romantic spring wedding in June, per Raquell’s request. Gabe and Raquel’s relationship was perhaps helped by her close friendship with his younger sister Rain.

After announcing their first pregnancy in July 2019, the attractive couple welcomed their daughter Sophie to the world in November of the same year. Sophie has yet to appear in the series, as does her younger sibling, who was born in late 2021. Raquell isn’t interested in fame or cameras, and Gabe shares her low-key approach, as the husband and wife rarely post each other on Instagram, or give fans a glimpse of their home life.

Surprisingly, Raquell has also been criticized by “Alaskan Bush People” fans for allegedly taking Gabe away from his family. With that said, viewers of the show often find fault in the main characters’ other halves, so it’s understandable that Gabe and Raquell want to bring their young children up in a more stable, less public environment.

Gabe has gone through a serious image change in the last few months, ditching his signature sideburns for a long, wild beard, and beginning to wear eyeliner. The star loves to post selfies on Instagram but doesn’t interact much with his 200,000 followers in the comments section. He’s especially close to his brother Noah as there are only a couple of years between them.

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Noah was one of the first Brown siblings to settle down. In 2018, he married his long-time girlfriend Rhain Alisha, and they welcomed their first child just five months later. The private couple met when Noah and his family were still living in Alaska, and after the move, the blonde TV star convinced Rhain to fly out to the family homestead in Washington State.

The fifth-born Brown has currently been blessed with two sons named Elijah and Adam. When the family homestead – named Brown Town – burned down in the Washington wildfires, Noah and Rhain made the painstaking decision to move away and rent a house after losing almost all their possessions in the devastating catastrophe. As of September 2022, the couple are still living away from the rest of the Browns but seem to remain on good terms with the family.

Although Noah is quiet and unassuming, he also has a romantic side. In the same week as his wedding to Rhain, he had his wife’s name tattooed on his chest. He also announced his other half’s pregnancy in May 2021, with a heartwarming Instagram poem in which he wrote: “Roses are red, violets are blue, Rhain is pregnant, and I will love this baby too.” For what it’s worth, Noah and Rhain’s union appears to be the most stable, as they’ve never broken up or been rocked by scandal.

Snowbird is the elder sister and Billy and Ami’s sixth child. Not much is known about her, as she has no social media profiles. The brunette is an avid lover of hunting and fishing, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind or argue with her siblings when need be. In March 2019, it was alleged that Snowbird and Rhain had got into a huge argument, although it remains unclear why.

As of December 2019, Snowbird had up to 20 pet cats which she began taking in when the family moved to Washington. She was criticized in September 2020 when the “Alaskan Bush People” Facebook page uploaded a video of her preparing a meal for her cats which consisted of chicken stuffed with fish and chicken feet, a dead rat, and gravy made of milk and cat food. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Rain has described Snowbird as a “lonely cat lady” and suggested that she should get a boyfriend.

A doting aunt, Snowbird is also her nephew Elijah’s godmother, and takes her responsibilities seriously. On the show, there are many clips of her showering Elijah with love, and she’s babysat him many times. Her caring side was also demonstrated when Ami was diagnosed with cancer in April 2017, as Snowbird didn’t hesitate to take on the maternal role, and be a constant source of support for her family. She has even been described as a “mini-mom” by her brothers.

Rain, the youngest Brown sibling, is the total opposite of Snowbird: feisty, outspoken, and with an exuberant personality, she’s spent pretty much her whole childhood in front of the cameras. She made headlines a while ago after undergoing a radical makeover, and sporting a stylish pixie cut. He’s a self-described inspirational writer and full-time warrior.

For now, Rain hasn’t been romantically linked to anyone. She has a good relationship with all her siblings and is especially close to Snowbird despite their differences. It’s also confirmed that she’ll appear in the newest season of “Alaskan Bush People”, so fans will soon be able to catch up on how all the Brown family has coped with Billy’s loss.

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