1. I was young and naive and was enthralled with the pseudo-science.
2. I got feel-good feelings from auditing (brain endorphines).
I partially agree with you about the rhetoric but there is more to it than just that.
What happens in auditing (mainly lower levels) is due to brain endorphin (or other neuro-transmitters) effects.
The deceitful rhetoric is Hubbard's pseudo-science "explanations" about what is happening.
It is both of these two items.
Yes, Hubbard used rhetoric (his pseudo-science) but that is only one part of the story.
You might consider adding brain neuro-science (about auditing) to your list of things to read about and consider.
Running an AESP in session will usually cause a brain endorphin effect. (not caused by rhetoric.)
(After awhile, the brain endorphin euphoria effect wears off.)
However, if you want the cognitions to be more in agreement with "The Tech" then rhetoric is...