For the interview, they placed Doctor Alexander Dietrich in a leather high-backed chair in front of the window with a view of Bethel Peak in the distance. It was the nearest they were allowed to approach the independent country of Koinonia, the secluded community established by the renowned Doctor. The American broadcasting company producing the interview was denied their request to meet with Dr. Dietrich on the main island.
“Why is your country so closed off to the public?” The interviewer began with the obvious questions. Compared to the conservative dress of the doctor, she appeared immodest and uncomfortable in her slim gray suit and matching stiletto heels. She pulled unconsciously at the hem of her skirt each time she re-crossed her legs under the exposing glow of the lights behind the camera. Her blonde highlights looked dull beside Dietrich’s full head of snowy-white hair. Her manufactured tan was an odd adobe orange compared to his rich, warm skin tones. Doctor Dietrich wore a simple outfit of a white, cotton button-down and a pair of black trousers. He sat relaxed in his chair with a playful smile pulling at the corner of his white-whiskered beard and a twinkle in his deep brown eyes. The smile caused a labyrinth of wrinkles to stand out on the angles of his oval face and betrayed his age.
“You have been quoted as saying ‘Koinonia is a refuge for all who are in need of it,’ ” the interviewer continued. “Is that correct?”
Dietrich nodded pleasantly. “Thank you for recalling.”
“Then tell me, Doctor, why is it that we were denied access to your island?”
Dietrich appeared genuinely surprised. “Were you seeking refuge, Ms. Nobel?” His eyes swept the room full of news station crew members, cameramen, makeup artists, the producer and technicians. “I was made to believe you were here for only an interview.”
“But why all this secrecy?” Ms. Nobel pressed. “What is it that you wish to hide from the world?” She nodded out the window in the direction of the distant ridges on the serene island sitting under an overcast sky.
“Nothing,” Dietrich responded. “It not what I don’t want the world to see. It is what I wish for my citizens not to see of the world.”
“You are protecting them?”
“Safeguarding, yes,” the doctor agreed, “for a time. Koinonians are given the knowledge of the world without the negative influences of it. At a certain age, they are given the opportunity to embrace it if they wish, but not on our island. It is essential to the wellbeing of our people that a barrier is upheld—”
“So you live in a bubble?” the reporter jumped in.
Dietrich smiled, “Excellent comparison, Ms. Nobel. A bubble is a barrier separating the inside from the outside. But it is also transparent. We can see out and view the world as it is and choose as free people whether the air is better within, or without.”
“But the bubble can also be broken.” Nobel continued with the metaphor.
“Indeed it can.” Dietrich’s attention drifted out the window with his gaze on the highest point of Bethel Peak on the horizon. “There are some who doubt us. It has never been done without Evil’s devious sabotage. But we attempt nothing that isn’t laid out in Theos’ command. He asks nothing of us which cannot be accomplished within his strength and aid. The guidelines are simple; the equation for communion and peace has been laid out before us if we are willing to follow it. Our way of living in accordance to Theos’ will and direction is not Koinonian exclusive. We try to be a model for other civilizations to draw hope. We must be willing to try, be willing to rely…be willing to serve.”
“So tell me, Doctor, with all the failed attempts throughout history of mankind building utopian societies, what is so different about Koinonia? Why hasn’t your bubble popped?”
Alexander Dietrich’s soft smile returned and he twisted slightly in his seat, gazing steadily at the camera underneath the hot glare of the lights. “Because,” he responded simply, “we have Protection.”