I was associated for a brief period in the early 1970s ending in 1973, and I will add my experience about the 1975 teachings of the WTBTS.
When I read of the WTBTS trying to cover up their biggest prophetic failure and place the blame on the rank and file, I get a feeling which is similar, although certainly of lesser intensity, to that which must be felt by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust when confronted with those who say that never happened either.
There was a gradient of intensity in the 1975/Big A teaching: lightly in _Awake_, more serious and foreboding in the _Wathctower_, more so in the _Kingdom Ministry_, and most of all at the weekly Service Meeting. It was like the WTBTS would only expose their wackiest ravings to those who had already bought into the earlier layers of the cult.
What I read about 1975 was bad. What I heard from the platform was worse:
1. It might happen sooner than summer/fall 1975; it could happen at any time.
2. When it happened and you weren't baptized (and you were old enough to be baptized), then you were going to die.
3. When it happened and you were doing something like enjoying an R-rated film or some other borderline activity, you were going to die as you couldn't count on any of the angels to pull you out of the destruction from above. Even if you had worked very hard in the field service and had an excellent record, one small indiscretion at the wrong time and you were out of the game.
4. When it happened and you were disfellowshiped, then you would die.
5. When it happened and you were on reproof, then you would likely die.
6. When it happened and you were covering up some issue that might get you disfellowshiped or reproved, then you would die.
7. Even if you were regular in the field service and had no real problems, if you didn't do as much as you could (like some sort of pioneering), then it was certainly possible and (depending on the speaker) somewhat probable that you would die.
Death, death, and more death from the platform parade of assholes. No shortage of threats, that's for sure. I suppose that the speakers were so busy with the WTBTS bullshit about 1975 that they somehow didn't have any time to mention the Big A prediction failures of 1914, 1925, and the early 1940s. And now the entire 1975 failure has been swept under the WTBTS rug of old light which must be getting rather lumpy by now.
Hey, WTBTS! Guess what? Those lumps aren't going away! Nope, that's because you have left way too many victims who have good memories, a sense of justice, and who aren't afraid of you, your printing presses, your ethics-free lawyers, or your dwindling supply of cash. We and those that follow us are not going away and we will use whatever means necessary to keep others from falling into the WTBTS mind-screw trap. We're laughing at you now and we will be laughing even harder in a few years when you are so broke that you'll have to sell Russell's pyramid tombstone on eBay to raise cash to keep up bedpan service for the governing body. "The End is near! The End is near!"; we've heard it again and again, but now it really is true: the end of the WTBTS. I hope it's a sunny day in Brooklyn when the last WTBTS buildings are closed because I'll be there videotaping the final exodus of all the sorry bastards leaving. And on the next day, I'll rent a dozen cranes with wrecking balls and charge exJWs a hundred dollars a throw to help knock down the last physical remainder of the WTBTS. And for the evening entertainment, I think that the WTBTS library will make for a most excellent bonfire. The flames will be bright and hot, although perhaps not as much so as those flames waiting for the WTBTS elite in the afterlife.