• Guests may view all public nodes. However, you must be registered to post.

My experiences working at DWS

Friendly Engineer

DEFCON Staff
Staff member
Some of you may know me by my DWS handle, Friendly Engineer, but many of you will have seen me in various digests and videos. My name is Billy Auger, and I joined the DEFCON Warning System staff team in July 2022.

I've been onboard for a over a year, and I feel like I've got a pretty good insight of what goes on at DWS. I regularly see people with with serious misconceptions about what we do, and what goes on behind the scenes. As I'm relatively new I feel like I'm in a unique position to give my insights. I manage the DWS discord, which was originally intended as a backup in case the forums crash (it's happened before when we change levels, sometimes the site just gets overloaded from huge influxes of traffic). I'd like to think it's more than a backup, and is now instead a blossoming OSINT community.

DWS is run by Thomas Lonely Wolf, a firefighter who founded DWS in 1984. He genuinely cares about the site, and would fund the site himself like he used to if he had to. He has poured his heart and soul into the organisation to turn it into what it is today. He always provides a level head and is the only person who can change the DWS DEFCON level. The rest of us advise him as to what we think the level should be, so there's a big onus on staff members to give good advice and analysis. RiffRaff, or Eric Wasson, is the deputy Director; he can change the level only in a dire emergency where Tom can't be contacted. The two of them manage DWS' various social media accounts and administrate the DEFCON Warning System, in other words, they work hard behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly.

Why do we do it? Well it certainly isn't money. The most I've got is the money for a webcam for the digests. We don't get paid a wage, DWS just doesn't earn enough to pay one. I saw an estimate online that we're a multi-million dollar organisation with a huge staff, that couldn't be further from the truth. We barely make enough money to keep the site up, and we don't expect that to change. None of us are in this for the money, there simply isn't any.

I can't speak for the rest of us, but the reason I volunteer at DWS is because I want to give people a fighting chance to survive a nuclear war (if it ever happens). Many governments across the globe have neglected their civil defence programmes, and they do not prioritise the safety of their citizens. I feel a deep need to do something, anything, to help people. Even though DWS could never fill in the hole for a missing civil defence programme, we can be the watchmen on the wall and give impartial advice to the public on what to do as the government won't, for a handful of reasons.

DWS has become a part of my life, I keep my phone on most nights just in case I get an emergency call. We live and breathe world events and constantly analyse news from a variety of sources to try and build up an accurate picture of what's happening. The memory of scrambling to try and confirm rumours of imminent Russian nuke use in the dead of night will always stick with me (which turned out to be false, luckily). The stress, the sleepless nights, it's a sacrifice we make at DWS to try and keep people informed, to try and save even a handful of lives in case the nukes started flying.

One of the most important things about DWS is our impartial advice. We try to be impartial, and I think we do a pretty good job of it. We try our best to prevent bias from seeping though, and one of our tricks is that the staff have radically different political and religious views. The Director is a dedicated Christian, whereas I'm an atheist (I always have a chuckle when I see media outlets describing us as a "Christian Apocalypse" group, considering I don't even believe in God). Tom puts religious stuff on the site, but that really has absolutely nothing to do with our analysis, it's a side project right at the bottom of the site. The thing is, thermonuclear weapons don't care what your religion or politics is. The only time we even mention religion in the staff discussions is when it has a role to play in a situation (e.g. the current war between Israel & Hamas). I'm a left-wing Labour party member, whereas some other members of staff are right wing, so I like to think that a lot of the bias gets cancelled out.

We deeply care about keeping you all informed to the best of our ability, and sometimes we make mistakes. When we do, we issue corrections as soon as possible and start discussing what we can do to reduce the likelihood of the same thing happening again. There are no ulterior motives, that's it. We just want to keep people informed and save lives.

If any of you have questions, feel free to message us on the community forums.
 
Well written though I would be concerned at giving real name out.
Already given my name out ages ago via digests (also it's in the about page of my profile). Same with Eric & Tom.
@Irag8er appeared in the CMC digest but hasn't shared his name so I didn't include him in the article.
@krzepice1976 hasn't shared his name so I didn't include him in the article.
 
FE I really appreciate you being on the staff and participating. You never seem to get flustered or mad.
I also very much like having the opportunity to give and take with a young man who is moderately liberal. did I get your political temperament correct?😏

I learn from it as well as improving my ability to try and communicate my position better.

Anyway you all do a great job from tracking the threat level to managing the forums.

Can we have a contest to guess who @krzepice1976.
I think who ever comes closest should get a prize🤣🤣🤣
 
FE I really appreciate you being on the staff and participating. You never seem to get flustered or mad.
I also very much like having the opportunity to give and take with a young man who is moderately liberal. did I get your political temperament correct?😏

I learn from it as well as improving my ability to try and communicate my position better.

Anyway you all do a great job from tracking the threat level to managing the forums.

Can we have a contest to guess who @krzepice1976.
I think who ever comes closest should get a prize🤣🤣🤣
You are correct!
I'm a member of the Labour party, and I'd describe myself as a social democrat, (NOT a socialist, i.e. of the Karl Marx 'seize the means of production' sort). I believe we should support business and capitalism is the way to go, but you can't have pure capitalism. You've got to prioritise helping people.
Thanks for you kind words.
 
Friendly Engineer: I really appreciate your post. It is nice to know what goes on behind the scenes. I don't envy any of you because I know that you work very hard all the time to bring the best information to this site. I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to history, politics, war, etc. Flunked or barely passed all history in high school and college. But I do learn a lot from reading all the posts.

Thank you and all the staff for all the hard work.
 
FE I really appreciate you being on the staff and participating. You never seem to get flustered or mad.
I also very much like having the opportunity to give and take with a young man who is moderately liberal. did I get your political temperament correct?😏

I learn from it as well as improving my ability to try and communicate my position better.

Anyway you all do a great job from tracking the threat level to managing the forums.

Can we have a contest to guess who @krzepice1976.
I think who ever comes closest should get a prize🤣🤣🤣
As you know I live in Europe ( state named Poland).
I Belize thay all DwS number shall read one Ray Dalio book . Principle of dealing world change order.
Do you agree?
 
As you know I live in Europe ( state named Poland).
I Belize thay all DwS number shall read one Ray Dalio book . Principle of dealing world change order.
Do you agree?
Thank you it's definitely on my "To read" list.
 
Top