How to Get on 'Alaskan Bush People': The Ballad of Bear and Raiven
[This post was last updated on February 14, 2020]
Once again, the truth is stranger than fake reality. The behind-the-scenes intrigue of Alaskan Bush People is vastly more interesting than anything Discovery Channel has shown in 10-ish seasons of the series.
There's been a brouhaha in the Browns' real lives, and it's a sordid tale of treachery, heartbreak, revenge, stupidity and SEX! Lots of gross, embarrassing and confusing SEX!
This chapter of the Brown family saga began in August 2018, when Noah and She Who Will Not Be Named were married in an Idaho park. It was a simple ceremony, and swords were involved.
Present at the nuptials was one Kassy Michelle Contes (henceforth referred to as Kassy or Mama Kass), proprietor of Kassy Michelle Photography. Kassy was hired to photograph Noah's wedding. Kassy's +1 for the wedding was her daughter and "model" Raiven Adams (henceforth referred to as Raiv3n). It is at this wedding, as lore has it, that Raiv3n met Solomon "Bear" Brown, the self-declared King of EXXXXTREME and obnoxiously muddled man-child. It is also at this wedding that a friendship was formed and the seed of a sinister scheme was planted.
Flash forward to July 2019. We get our first images of a young woman that Bear has reportedly been courtin' and who may be a new character on the show.
This young woman also enjoys Dr. Pepper, the Official Carbonated Beverage of the Brown Family. There's nothing unusual here, aside from Bear having a romantic relationship with a living, breathing and sentient human female. As we've seen in the past, the producers will occasionally truck in various young women who are willing to feign an interest in one of the Brown boys to get a little time on TV.
Shortly thereafter, Bear's new boo is identified as Raiv3n. At first glance, Raiv3n is not a hideous troll and is therefore miles out of Bear's league. This begs the question, "What would a girl like Raiv3n see in a guy like Bear?" Obviously, it's the same thing that She Who Will Not Be Named saw in Noah.
The floodgates open wide on Bear and Raiv3n's social media accounts and an onslaught of sickening kissy-face photos come pouring out. You see, the kids these days can't have a relationship without repeatedly bashing you in the skull with their love. Because true romance requires at least 10K Likes on Insta.
And here comes the clickbait! Raiv3n starts spilling stuff to the gossip sites, and it's obvious now that she's just looking for a free ride on Billy Brown's Circus Train.
Raiv3n frequently poses for her mom's photos, which means she's a "model" in the same sense that I am both an architect and a marine biologist. Raiv3n's got the freaky fake eyelashes thing going on, and it looks like she can produce gale-force winds if she blinks fast enough. Bear might be able to swing from them.
And then the wheels came off.
Mama Kass, apparently in a huff about the internet using and misattributing some of her photos, ditched the diplomatic route and went on the offensive. It backfired.
Kassy was under the false impression that the internet is a merciful and understanding entity. The internet did what the internet does and it released the hounds.
The con is on! Clearly, Mama Kass is trying to match lyin' and schemin' wits with Billy! She witnessed firsthand how easy it is to dupe the Brown boys and get on TV, so Kass and Raiv3n set their crosshairs on Bear, the lone Brown son without a significant other and also the saddest simpleton of the bunch. Maybe by pretending to be Bear's girlfriend, Raiv3n could score a multiple-episode story arc in Season 11-ish. She might be able to parlay her ABP appearance into some kind of real modeling gig and then LOOK OUT HOLLYWOOD! Raiv3n has arrived!
But Raiv3n and Mama Kass forgot that they're dealing with "King Con" Billy Brown, a master grifter with about 40 years' experience selling Bush snake oil to Alaskan tourists, cat ladies and Discovery Channel. He's seen it all, and done most of it.
Billy controls all the money, and he has all the power. Bear has practically nothing. If Mama Kass and Raiv3n want to get that Discovery Channel cha-ching, they're gonna have to get it from Billy.
You may recall the war of wills that raged between Noah and Billy over She Who Will Not Be Named's appearance on the show. The Browns didn't really like She Who Will Not Be Named and wanted to keep her off the show and out of their insular clan. Noah and She Who Will Not Be Named bailed on the family for quite some time. They fled to Colorado and occasionally posted passive-aggressive potshots at the family. The standoff ended in a stalemate. Noah's cash flow dried up and he was forced to come back to the show and the family. Noah and She Who Will Not Be Named's marriage and pregnancy forced Billy to put her back on the show. Maybe this baby thing might be good for ratings. It was not.
I mention this because She Who Will Not Be Named — and later, Gabe's wife Raquell — provided a clear roadmap for Raiv3n and Kassy to insinuate themselves into the family and get on TV. In Raiv3n's case, the road is littered with skeletons.
Turns out that Raiv3n is not all that interested in dudes. She was married to another woman in 2016. Raiv3n described herself as "pansexual," which I'm going to assume is sex with cookware. Someone research that for me. ABP Exposed got the lowdown on Raiv3n's past relationships, and it reveals a pattern of suspicious behavior.
How does Bear feel about Raiv3n's "Secret Lesbian Past"? According to a Brown family insider with absolutely no knowledge of anything, Bear was "BLINDSIDED!"
Surely, even someone as dense as Bear would see what's going on here and would give Raiv3n the heave-ho. Right?
Nope. When people realize they've been duped, they don't admit that they've been duped. Instead of acknowledging that they made an error and trying to correct it, they double down, insist that it wasn't a mistake at all and then compound it by doing/saying something even more foolish. This seems to be the MO within American politics and for most Alaskan Bush People fans. So, of course...
Bear wasn't blindsided by Raiv3n's secret lesbian past at all. In fact, they claim they've been friends since Noah's wedding and that Bear's known about Raiv3n's unbridled pansexuality for a long time. Bear didn't buy that engagement ring. It was Kassy's, from one of her failed marriages. Very sentimental indeed, and no doubt a good omen for a lifetime of wedded bliss.
Poor Billy! All this insanity was too much for his ticker and he had a heart condition that necessitated a procedure and a hospital stay of over two weeks in Wenatchee, Bushington. While ol' Billy was laid up and clinging to life, Raiv3n and Mama Kass were busy initiating Phase 3 of Operation Bushwhack.
A few weeks after Gabe and Raquell were spotted at this clinic, they announced that Raquell was pregnant. Now we have Raiv3n and Mama Kass going to the same clinic. Eh, I am sure it is just random coincidence and won't have any bearing on future events.
Our friends at Profane Reality have been dormant on the ABP front for a while, but they came back in full force. On September 10, Raiv3n posted news of her breakup with Bear to her Instagram account.
Their engagement didn't last two weeks. You mean that a relationship based entirely on deceit and manipulation couldn't go the distance? If Bear and Raiv3n can't make it, is there hope for any of us? Damn the internet trolls and haters for so effortlessly breaking up such a beautiful couple!
Raiv3n did not follow proper Bush protocol and spilled the breakup beans before the story could be sold exclusively to People. Discovery Channel's damage-control experts were hard at work on this one, providing a statement from Bear that is way too articulate to truly be from him.
Whew. I'm glad that's over and we can totally forget about Raiv3n and all this bullshi—
Oh, my God. They finally, really did it. YOU MANIAC! YOU KNOCKED HER UP! DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!
Last season on ABP, Bear said he didn't want to have kids until he was 60 or 70. That conjured up all sorts of disturbing images that I am now having to deal with all over again. I wonder if they had awkward sex in Bear's shipping container. I wonder if there was howling involved. I wonder how much therapy I'll need to rid me of these thoughts.
Discovery Channel's spin doctors operated at max capacity and they have the cat ladies just eating this stuff up. We have achieved peak ABP superfan stupidity.
Discovery Channel made a statement on Bear's behalf, they're sticking to it and they've gone silent. Mama Kass and Raiv3n, however, have lots of new and interesting things to reveal about the whole fiasco. Their stories are inconsistent and their timelines don't make sense, and I trust neither of them. Here's Raiv3n's perspective on Instagram.
So, basically Raiv3n says to Bear, "I'm gay, I don't really like you, there's no future for us together, you have the emotional and intellectual maturity of a fifth grader. LET'S HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX!"
Here's Raiv3n posting a photo of her baby bump on Instagram.
Even though she just found out she was pregnant, Raiv3n's supposedly eight weeks along. First, she claimed she found out she was pregnant right after they called off the engagement. Then she immediately changed her mind and claimed that the engagement "was the right thing to do" because of the pregnancy. Raiv3n doesn't put much thought into her B.S.
Meanwhile, Mama Kass couldn't keep quiet and put the Browns on blast. She blabbed to Profane Reality about a bunch of stuff. She says the Browns stiffed her on payment for the wedding photos. She didn't ask for a deposit? And she gave the Browns the photos without being paid in full? Jeez, as someone who doesn't like to pay for stuff herself, you'd think Kassy would know better.
Kassy just learned what we've all known about the Browns for years. She continues.
There's a lot of stuff here. Bear is "too unstable"? Really? What gave it away? Was it the five years of acting like a coked-up orangutan on national TV? And if two hot messes like Raiv3n and Kassy are calling Bear unstable, then he must be seriously deranged.
Kassy is trying to flip the script and depict Raiv3n as the victim instead of the gold-digging opportunist. She wants us to believe that Raiv3n was used by Bear in a sick publicity stunt. The problem is that Raiv3n had consensual, unprotected intercourse with Bear [shudder], so that argument doesn't hold water. Does Kassy mean to imply that the sex was not consensual? If so, that's very bad news for everybody.
There's also this part about threats and "they will bury us if we don't keep quiet." I do not know if they literally mean "bury." Back in the day, there were stories from Alaskans about intimidation by the "DC Mafia," so this doesn't surprise me. Raiv3n signed a non-disclosure agreement to be a part of the show, and she stands to lose a lot if she talks too much. Kassy did not sign such an agreement, but I suspect that the Browns and Park Slope are strongly persuading her to be quiet. They must protect the Alaskan Bush People brand, because this awful show is all they have.
Kassy and Raiv3n have deleted their social media accounts [Update: They're back but have gone private on Insta], but the internet doesn't forget. I wonder if they're lawyerin' up. I wonder if Park Slope is paying them to go away. I wonder how much
Bear Billy will be paying in child support. There are lots of new wives and new Brown Grandbabies to feed, but the show's seasons are getting shorter and the ratings are getting lower. Billy must be pissed.
Discovery Channel publicized Bear and Raiv3n's baby, and the critical cat lady demographic will demand that the kid is part of the show. Which means the kid's mom is getting paid one way or another.
[Updated on February 14, 2020]
It had been quiet on the Bear and Raiv3n front for most of the winter, until Mama Kass swooped in and dropped some atomic bombshells on the ABP universe this week. There's nothing quite like having your phone buzz at 6:15am with tweets about restraining orders taken out on Brown family members.
Then there were tweets about Mama Kass posting frantic Instas from inside her daughter's uterus.
(Raiv3n was hospitalized in Anchorage, Alaska, which explains why the civil protection order was filed in that state. Regardless of this entire mess, we hope the baby is delivered safe and healthy at full term, and that the people responsible for his care grow the hell up.)
Then Mama Kass dumped this all on the official ABP Facebook page. The post has since been deleted, but the internet is forever.
She posted several screen shots of a text message conversation with Bear. Bear was informed of Raiv3n's preterm labor and the seriousness of the situation. The conversation turned ugly.
Bear made good on his threat and posted this to Insta. The post has since been deleted, but, you know: internet, forever, etc.
Then Bear was advised to stop sending gifts and stuff until the paternity test confirms that yes, indeed, he'll be paying out the ass for the next 18 years.
Bear and Raiv3n's toxic relationship has resulted in a Level 3 hazmat situation that is all-round disgusting, save for the fact that it might finally put an end to this show. ABP still floats under the mainstream media's radar (People mag's propaganda doesn't count), so there's not a firestorm over domestic violence allegations like there would be if the same thing was alleged against a contestant on The Bachelorette. Discovery can get away without acknowledging or commenting on any of this.
Best case scenario is that Discovery Channel cancels Alaskan Bush People immediately, deletes all of ABP's official internet and social media accounts, removes the show from all on-demand and streaming platforms, issues a sincere-sounding mea culpa and then promises to never do this again.
There is also a scenario in which Billy and Mama Kass call a truce and work to their mutual benefit. Billy's best option is to pay off Mama Kass and Raiv3n (or persuade his Park Slope benefactors to do so). No, he doesn't pay them to go away, he pays them to pretend that all is well, and that Bear is a loving and supportive baby daddy.
The two most-watched episodes of the past ABP season involved Raiv3n, so Billy will need her to show up on set for a few days a year to play the role of Happy Bush Mommy raising her newborn in Bear's conex. Raiv3n's good for ratings, and Billy can't deny that.
If they can work this out, Billy can perpetuate his myth, Raiv3n gets $$$ and screen time, Bear can appear to be less psychopathic and the braindead cat fanciers can keep doting on all these imbeciles for another, probably final season.