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Bryan Johnson ‘loves’ the hate from critics like Elon Musk: ‘It’s really humorous that they want to put me on trial’

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Centi-millionaire Bryan Johnson firmly believes sleep is a key part of his $2-million-a-year anti-aging protocol, so he’s not letting criticism from “haters” keep him up at night.

In an exclusive interview with Fortune, the world’s self-proclaimed “most measured man” said he welcomes feedback from naysayers because it means they’re engaging with the work he is doing at Blueprint—even if it’s direct criticism from the likes of Elon Musk.

Over the past 12 months, Johnson has increasingly gained notoriety courtesy of his extreme health, fitness and diet regime—all aimed toward the goal of “don’t die.”

With that fame has come suspicion and outright hostility from some corners of the internet, with individuals questioning everything from Johnson’s quality of life to his appearance.

Tesla CEO Musk agreed on X in January that Johnson—who made his millions by selling his company Braintree to PayPal—looked better in his Silicon Valley days, before he began the anti-aging protocol.

At the time 46-year-old Johnson did swipe back, playing on remarks that he looks like a vampire.

He wrote: “The difference between Elon and me: I’ll nourish you and drink your blood; he’ll fire you and leave you to die.”

But speaking to Fortune, Johnson said he finds some of the criticism “funny.”

“I love the haters,” Johnson said. “Love them. I welcome them, I embrace them, I appreciate them spending their time to comment. They’re standing up, they’re speaking up, they’re not apathetic. I love everything about them, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Transparency and being human

Blueprint—the business Johnson established to develop and share his anti-aging regime—has been open with its findings.

Updates chronicling improvements—or lack of impact—are regularly posted on his website, as well as Johnson speaking candidly about the shortcomings of the trial.

Finding a romantic partner, for example, is something Johnson has said is difficult.

But the honesty isn’t a bid to change the minds of critics and convince them of the ‘Don’t Die’ way of life.

In fact, Johnson said he “loves” to see the other side of the debate.

“Being human is very hard. [Critics] are trying to understand reality, they’re trying to deal with themselves, we all are. It’s an illusion that any human just has it all figured out—it is very, very hard to be human,” he explained.

“We’re all struggling. I’m struggling less than I ever have in my entire life—I was struggling pretty significantly before—but I’m deeply empathetic to people and I appreciate them showing up. I mean they’re engaging with me, they’re offering me their perspectives and I love it.”

Johnson has spent vast sums of his wealth and recruited droves of scientists to develop the protocol, which is a far cry from the lives of most people around the world.

Among many other routines, Johnson eats his last meal at 11 a.m. every day, takes more than 100 supplement pills daily and is in bed by 8.30 p.m. every night.

Many have questioned how happy Johnson can be following such a strict routine—despite the entrepreneur saying it’s the most fun he’s ever had—but the structure, he says, ensures his mental wellbeing.

“It’s really funny—it’s actually really humorous that people want to put me on trial” for not being happy, said Johnson.

“They want to say that I’m not living life and that I must be in a cage of misery built on myself. I don’t know about that, as I talk to many people in the world [and] I’m not sure that many people are thriving with their own mental health and wellness.”

Is the price right?

While Johnson is spending millions to slow his pace of aging, pockets of longevity in so-called ‘Blue Zones’ could potentially undermine the feat.

A handful of communities have been identified for their unusual longevity, with the phenomenon first identified by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer and fellow.

These five regions include Sardinia in Italy, the islands of Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, the island of Ikaria in Greece and Loma Linda in California, where people frequently live to over 100 years of age.

Johnson told Fortune the protocol’s impact on his own life expectancy is beside the point—what really matters is that more people start thinking about how they can service the planet better, for longer: “What we did that was unique is scour all the scientific data… and we put it all in me. We shared all of my data and then we made the entire thing for free. It does not matter if I die; what matters is if as a species the only thing we care about is not dying.

“It doesn’t matter what my life expectancy is. It doesn’t matter if I die or not. It’s that we are thematically, objectively, functionally engineering our way to don’t die as a species.”

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