Mother Blames Church of Scientology for Splitting Up Family

A Florida woman says the church pressured her and her husband to "disconnect" from their son.
3:00 | 03/19/14

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Transcript for Mother Blames Church of Scientology for Splitting Up Family
Getting the fios difference. That's powerful. Cc1 Test Messa Good evening. Scientology has strenuously denied that it forces its members to quote, unquote, disconnect with anybody who leads the faith. Cut all ties, even with loved ones. One woman says the church turned it into a choice between her son and her daughter. This is the image that most people have of scientology, Tom cruise, John travolta and kirstey alley who lauded the religion as helping themselves out in their mind. This woman may have a less recognizable face, but she was a long-tim member who was coming forward with a very different story about scientology. I'm speaking out now because I don't want this to happen to other people. I don't want this to happen to other families. Reporter: She blames the church for breaking apart her family effectively, she says, forcing her to choose between her son and daughter. No mother should ever have to make that choice. They were giving me a Sophie's choice, and it's not right. Reporter: Shi says she spent 36 years in the church, founded by L. Ron Hubbard and she and her husband both reached the top level of spiritual progression known as operating Satan eight. I was sort of the poster child for a signologist. But the problems began when her sonic developed doubts about the faith. You grow up in it so it's all you know. You believe whatever your parents tell you to believe, right? Then when you reach adulthood, I mean, there's things I didn't like, the way they recruited, the theories about life and the universe. He was an engaged signtologist, actively recruiting people to the faith. I sold books. I didn't want to. I just did it because I had to. I kind of feel bad that I did that. He started associating with vocal critics of church. The head of the church had physically struck subordinates. He just takes off across the room in front of 80 people and delivered just a beating to the guy. I mean beat him up bad. Reporter: The church has repeatedly and strenuously denied those allegations while condemning them as liars and apostates. He was cast out of the church, declared a quote, unquote, suppressive person. It was devastating. I mean, I felt the pain he felt. Reporter: His mother says church officials repeatedly pressured her and her husband, also a signtologist needed to cut ties with her son. She briefly did sdis cdisconnect with nick until she got drunk, got a gun and threatened to kill himself. I didn't have many reasons to stick around at the time. My son said I have a gun and I have. Bottle of booze and a heart just drops and falls out of your chest. This contradicts the church's long-standing position that it does not tell its followers to cut ties with anyone. The accusations are untrue. The record shows the church acted with compassion, responding for requests from assistance including requests to help their son deal with a drug and alcohol addiction. The church is lying when they say there is no disconnection practice and enforced. It's not true. I have proof. Reporter: In fact, Goldberg gave us this document, one she first shared with the Tampa bay times which broke the story in which a church official says he cannot approve of her continued relationship with her son, explicitly using the word disconnection. Ultimately, she says, she and her husband chose to stand by nick. The result, she says, they were both called in front of what the church calls a committee of evidence and ultimately declared suppressive. At which point her daughter Ashley chose to cut ties in what her mom describes as a wrenching scene. We talked and we cried and she said, mom, I have to D disconnect from you. It was just very sad. I know my daughter loves me and she loves her brother. So that was the last time I saw my daughter and my granddaughter. Goldberg says she still believes in the teachings of scientology, but now shares her son's dougts abdoubts about how the church is being run, especially since she went online, something church members are discouraged from doing and saw what critics were saying about scientology. She saw this interview "Nightline" gave with Debbie cook, a former scientology official who claimed in court that the leader ordered his secretary to slap her. Why? He was displeased with how I was answering a question. It wasn't what he wanted to hear in some way. Scientology has labelled Debbie cook a bitter apostate and liar. But Goldberg says she was deep ly troubled by cook's testimony. I started to understand why the church doesn't want its parishioners to go on the internet and read stuff. Because there's too many things they would have learned. Reporter: It's now been nine months since she had in contact with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. It's just cruel. I can't even e-mail my daughter. I sent a package of presents to my granddaughter for Christmas and it was refused and sent back. Reporter: All that she has left is pictures and memories and hope. I want my family back. And I have wonderful memories. The evil practice of disconnection destroys families. It's got to stop. It's got to end. Reporter: The latest installment in our series "Faith

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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