1.) The basis for the original speculation of 1975.
2.) How even though there were articles printed that were speculative in nature, not one
ever stated that Armageddon would definitely come in 1975 and, in fact, the then President of the Watchtower Society even instructed his listeners against saying anything as such.
3.) The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's acknowledgement of "implied" statements concerning 1975 and the significance of this.
4.) The reason opposers focus on this issue.
5.) How Jehovah's Witnesses accusers employ two sets of rules.
Understanding the Speculation Concerning 1975
"The Witnesses had long shared the belief that the Thousand Year Reign of Christ would follow after 6,000 years of human history. But when would 6,000 years of human existence end? The book Life Everlasting - In Freedom of the Sons of God, released at a series of district conventions held in 1966, pointed to 1975. Right at the convention, as the brothers examined the contents, the new book triggered much discussion about 1975." - Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom; pg. 104, Declaring the Good News Without Letup (1942-1975)
Speculative Articles, But NO Definite Statement
While there was likely a lot of speculation surrounding 1975 by individuals, no publication ever provided a definitive statement saying that the end would come in 1975. Some articles seemed to say that it was highly possible, though they always qualified it.
For example, the 5/01/67 Watchtower says:
"...1975 marks the end of 6,000 years of human experience.....Will it be the time when God executes the wicked?....It very well could be, but we will have to wait and see."
Other articles frequently used words such as "may", "could" and "possibly"," regarding this.
Even Frederick Franz (the then President of the WBTS) forcefully instructed:
Some critics focus solely on Jehovah's Witnesses concerning non-essential, mistaken expectations about the fulfillment of Bible prophecies. Yet at the same time, they ignore these high-profile religious figures who have made mistakes similar to Jehovah’s Witnesses:
Protestant leader Martin Luther believed that the Turkish war in his day would be
"the final wrath of God, in which the world will come to an end and Christ will come to destroy Gog and Magog and set free His own"? [John T. Baldwin, "Luther's Eschatological Appraisal of the Turkish Threat in Eine Heerpredigt -wider den Tuerken - Army Sermon Against the Turks]," Andrews University Seminary Studies 33.2 (Autumn 1995), 196.
He also said that
"Christ has given a sign by which one can know when the Judgment Day is near. When the Turk will have an end, we can certainly predict that the Judgment must be at the door". - Ibid, p. 201.
And Methodist founder John Wesley wrote: