Scientology bills itself as scientific. As an Electrical Engineer, I am trained in scientific methods and applying the results to real-world application. Being fresh out of college, I was young and naive, so I took the Scientologists at their word. However, I soon discovered too many data points that could not be independently verified. I was unwilling to allow "faith" to fill the holes - that is not the Scientific Method.
Toward the end of my Communications Course, I got the usual sales pressure to sign up for auditing. I also happen to be rather tightfisted with money - I come from a poor family. I questioned whether I should spend that much money on auditing, a procedure of dubious scientific basis. So, I asked a staffer for a "sample" audit. I think I must have caused a bit of an internal flap (auditing? for FREE? ARE YOU NUTS?) because it took several weeks for the staff to figure out what to do.
The staffer agreed to something informal - lie down on a couch, without the cans . The staffer's first words were to the effect of "relax, let you mind wander". After some early life recall practice (I could remember things previous to my third birthday before I looked into Scientology), the staffer attempted to put me in contact with my "birth engram". Apparently, this engram is easy to hit and demonstrates that we remember pain even when our brains are not fully developed. I was spectacularly unsuccessful in remembering this event.
Undaunted, the staff suggested I look into some "study tech", a course on How To Study. Apparently, I had gone past a "Misunderstood Word" which was preventing me from making the decision to spend money on auditing. Later, I discovered this is standard handling - "Keep the bodies in the shop", LRH says. Imagine, a college graduate being told that he doesn't know how to study!
The holes in the "Tech" were only becoming larger and larger. I eventually decided to escape. I just walked away from The Org with my brain and wallet still intact.
My wife decided to take some auditing (we did the Comm Course together). Having decided to stay away but knowing I could be labelled "PTS" or "SP", I respected her wishes and kept my doubts to myself. She talked to me about some of the stuff they were doing. Eventually, she began to feel they were trying to get rid of her because they were going out to shopping malls and looking at people. [Sounds eerily like some of the OT7 stuff in retrospect, though she said it was probably to push some buttons.] Perhaps she was not auditing well, either.
Eventually, my wife declared victory and also escaped.
My auditing experience was hypnotic - the relaxation, the leading questions, the voice of the auditor. I remembered trying to "do the right thing" for the auditor when he told me to go back to my birth. In fact, it caused quite a bit of anxiety because he commanded "Go!" and I could not. I was suggestible - hypnotized! Contrasted with the classic double-blind experiment, auditing is not good science - both auditor and pc know what's expected and the pc is in a suggestible state.
This cognition was the most disturbing of my auditing experience and the most damning for Scientology. It's this: results based on auditing are not scientifically valid. The subject is hypnotized and therefore suggestible. In effect, the auditor can create "results" by suggesting them to the preclear. Since The Bridge is based exclusively on LRH's experience with the cans, by extension it is not scientifically valid! LRH and others had just mocked it up, to use his words.
Eventually, my wife went SP in her own way and started returning the Business Reply Envelopes sealed but empty. This went on for some time, but I pointed out that $700, divided by 20 cents (1st class postage at the time) is 3500 BREs to return. She agreed that she couldn't bankrupt Scientology twenty cents at a time without great inconvenience to herself, so she requested in writing that we be removed from their mailing list. They complied. They don't bother us anymore.
My final impression of Hubbard is that he had absolutely no understanding of how science works. Given his background as a pulp-magazine science fiction author, it allowed him to weave just enough science into his ramblings to make them believable. When combined with his paranoid schizophrenia and delusions of granduer, he became a menace to himself and others.