Alaskan Bush People is more fun when we’re talking about hilariously transparent PSAs and overall fakeness. This article? This is not fun. It might be the darkest commentary I’ve written on the subject of Alaskan Bush People and its stars, the Brown family. Short of the series possibly exploiting a teen’s death for ratings.
More recently, the Inquisitr followed up on news from Radar about the Ami Brown debacle. Specifically, that her long-lost kin would be flying out to have an on-camera showdown. Or possibly plead with Brown to make peace with her 89-year-old mother while there’s still time.
However, when doing some digging into the news story, something stood out in the way Les Branson, Ami Brown’s brother, spoke about her decades-long marriage to Alaskan Bush People patriarch Billy Brown. According to Reality TV Scandal, Les explained his family’s decision to make contact in a heartfelt Facebook comment on an Alaskan Bush People group page.
This was the section of the article that got my attention.
“Les then said, ‘I don’t even care if Ami calls her mother at this point. The damage is already done.’ Les then said he is happy for Ami becoming a television star, and for the success, however, Les feels Ami ‘has been a virtual prisoner of a domestic abuser for 35 years, and now she is free at last… somewhat.’ “
That is a very loaded accusation for Ami’s brother to make. However, if you look at the circumstances under which Billy and Ami were first married, it begins to make sense. Les said the following.
“People claim, Ami is an adult. She can call her mother if she wants to. The fact is, no, she can’t – not if it will upset Billy. Of paramount importance is not to make Billy mad. Ask the people on the dock who witnessed Billy’s anger and threats of death. Imagine being subjected to that violent temper for over 35 years since the age of 15.”
It’s certainly a troubling thought to be sure. The description is also not at all unusual for victims of domestic violence. One of the favorite tools of domestic abusers is to isolate their victims. In fact, HealthyPlace writer Kellie Jo Holly notes that “isolation and domestic abuse cannot be separated.”
“Whether physical or emotional or both, isolation is the first step to convincing a victim that their controller is the most important person in the world. How do abusers isolate victims? Why are isolation and domestic abuse inextricably intertwined?
Usually the isolation in domestic abuse begins with the controller inserting emotional wedges between the victim and his or her family and friends. At some point, the victim finds it too difficult to connect with friends and family due to
– the controller’s embarrassing or abusive behavior or
– the victim’s belief that the controller is telling the truth.”
In the case of Ami, her estranged relations seem to think the lack of contact is due to the latter reason. Les shared the following in his Facebook comment.
“My mom, sister and family friend kidnapped Ami away from Billy for two days and tried to talk sense into her, but to no avail.”
Still, these are claims made by biased individuals who definitely have a problem with Billy Brown. As such, they cannot be considered the most objective sources. Also, considering their lack of contact with Ami for decades, it’s hard to know the exact reason why at this point. Did she choose not to speak with them on her own, or was her silence was due to extensive emotional manipulation by Billy?
A vital clue may lie in the Brown children themselves and their own relationships — or apparent lack thereof. It appears the Brown household is mainly made up of physically grown men who seem to be emotionally stunted. All talk is of introducing a woman to the family for the exclusive purpose of building Browntown (which we already know is fake) has yet to be backed up by an off-screen effort by any of the Brown sons.
For example, consider the curious case of Heather Bagayas, the ex-girlfriend of son Matt. Here’s an excerpt from an insightful interview of Heather by Reality TV Scandals. She knew the Browns when they lived in a “white house,” and were anything but bush people. Bagayas also spoke about the icy reception she received from her former boyfriend’s father.
“I then asked Heather if Billy was accepting of her? Heather answered with a laugh, ‘Not really.’
“[Heather] said when Billy would shake her hand he would barely acknowledge her and he would be looking at Matt while shaking her hand. I then asked Heather is she felt Billy was agitated she was even around, Heather said, ‘Yes, exactly, I would shake his hand and it was the oddest hand shake. It’s like he wasn’t shaking my hand at all, he just wanted me away.’ “
The Alaskan Bush People patriarch could be given the benefit of the doubt here, suggesting its just a situation where he didn’t like that particular girl. The problem is what we’ve seen on Alaskan Bush People doesn’t back up this narrative. It’s Ami that is the most eager for grandchildren and for her sons to bring home girls. Yet we went from a consulting matchmakers to going on dates with paid actresses.
Not the most convincing method for organically expanding the Brown family, is it?
Alaskan Bush People is a very popular show, and I’ve seen with my own eyes women repeatedly declaring their love for the sons and a desire to meet them. I’m genuinely surprised we haven’t gotten an Alaskan Bush People spin-off series focused on finding brides for the Brown sons. In this climate of celebrity, meeting women online (we know at least two of the brown sons have YouTube channels) or in person would be relatively easy.
There is only one reason that this hasn’t happened for any of the sons as far as I can tell, and it’s because Billy Brown doesn’t want it to.
“Outsiders” would question his authority. They would not blindly trust the Alaskan Bush People star’s method of doing things. Even more important, a woman might resent the risk of her or her husband going to jail in connection with one of Billy’s antics. Just as Billy Brown married a young Ami and possibly spent decades mentally manipulating and abusing her, he could have had a similar window to do this with his own children.
If Ami Brown’s own family is successful in their attempt to connect with the Alaskan Bush People star, then we might be able to get a better handle on the truth and what that is. As her relatives will be documenting their efforts themselves, there should be none of the editing tricks we’ve seen with Alaskan Bush People. We might find out aspects of the Browns’ life and who Billy really is away from the polish of the reality TV show editors and producers. And if the accusations of domestic abuse and isolation are ultimately proven true, we can only hope Ami is given the help she needs to escape her situation.
As for this chilling accusation… what do you think: Is Ami Brown the victim of an emotionally manipulative abuser? Are her resentful relatives attempting to smear the Alaskan Bush People household? Please share your thoughts on this troubling story below.
If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse and in need of help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
[Image via the Discovery Channel]