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Panorama Friday, 12 July, 2002, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Alison Cousins: taking a brother to court
Alison Cousins

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that they should not take another member of their church to court.

1 Corinthians 6:1, 5

"Does anyone of You that has a case against the other dare to go to court before unrighteous men, and not before the holy ones?"

"I am speaking to move You to shame. Is it true that there is not one wise man among You that will be able to judge between his brothers, but brother goes to court with brother, and that before unbelievers?"

Alison's story

Alison Cousins is grew up in the small Ayrshire town of Stevenson, just outside Glasgow, where her parents were active members of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

When she told the elders of her local congregation that her father was abusing her they told her they would deal with it.

They did nothing however, and eventually she went to the police.

Her father was imprisoned for five years.

Alison told Panorama:

"They told me that one of the scriptures in the Bible was that you should never take your brother to court.

"And I said to them: 'well what are you meant to do then if he's doing something wrong?'

"And they said: 'Come to us and we'll deal with it'.

"I said to them: 'Well I've already spoken to you and you've told me I'm a liar'.

"I ended up having to go to the police because they were the only people that I thought would believe me."

Suffer The Little Children


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