With criminal charges and accusations of fraud, both moral and legal, looming large for the Brown family of Alaskan Bush People fame, the family’s checkered past has come under more scrutiny. And it becomes more evident that for the Brown family, led by backwoods patriarch Billy Brown, their past is not quite as simple — or as rustic — as the show would like its viewers to believe.
In fact, Billy Brown spilled a lot of the family’s past, including some rather dark secrets, in his 2007 memoir, One Wave at a Time.
To begin with, Billy wasn’t even born in Alaska. In fact, his childhood was about as different as the childhood of his own kids portrayed on Alaskan Bush People can be. Billy openly admits that he was raised in a “world of privilege” by the president on a limousine company in Texas.
“I was given new boats and cars for my birthdays. I was truly the luckiest kid in town… I had it all — money, clothes, big ticket toys and a loving family, too.”
But Billy’s enchanted life came to a devastating end when he lost both his parents and his older sister in a plane crash in the spring of 1969.
“The first month following the accident was like the world’s longest bad dream,” he wrote in his memoir.
His status went from that of a privileged son of Texas to homeless orphan. He spent his time roaming around, looking for odd jobs.
Eventually, the family made their way to Haines, where Billy claims he built a house with his own bare hands. But this home burned to the ground in an accidental fire, injuring Ami and leaving the Brown family destitute. According to Billy, the family had nothing.
“All we had now was the clothes on our backs, and two of our boys didn’t even have shoes,” he claimed.
Billy began to write children’s books for his own growing flock of kids and became known as an actual author. In 2001, he and the rest of the Browns moved to Juneau, Alaska, and began selling his stories on CDs.
Billy then claims he fell into a deep and mysterious coma and had to be moved to Seattle, Washington, in order to be treated for organ failure. But then he magically began to recover from the mysterious illness and returned to the bush on Prince of Wales Island. The family then spent their time in the lower 48, from California to the couple’s native Texas.
Yet despite openly admitting to spending ample time in the lower 48 states, including in cities such as Seattle, it seems curious that the Brown kids seem to be so unaware of pop culture or current events.
So what precipitated the Browns’ drastic move from Texas to Alaska? According to Billy, he simply could not envision a “9 to 5” type life for himself, and, luckily for him, his wife agreed.
But with the growing mistrust between the Brown family and their viewers over admissions of financial fraud and heavy speculation over the authenticity of the show, even the Browns’ rather infamous accent is coming under scrutiny.
After growing up in the lower 48, both Billy and Ami display no signs of an accent, yet all seven of their children speak with a distinct accent that seems to be singular and unique. It sounds old-fashioned and almost Elizabethan, at times, and carries from the eldest son down to the youngest daughter, despite both parents sounding normal. When asked about the accent, the Browns claim that they were never even aware of how they sounded and state that it must have developed since the family often went six to nine months without contact with anyone else.
What do you think of the Brown family and their series Alaskan Bush People in light of the recent criminal charges and claims of fraud in the making of the show? And do you believe anything family patriarch Billy has revealed about his family’s past — as well as their accents?
[Image via Discovery Channel]