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Exclusive: Bryan Johnson, the tech founder spending millions to be 18 again, says his goal is to make death optional

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They say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Billionaire biohacker Bryan Johnson doesn’t subscribe to that opinion—and not because he has radical ideas about fiscal policy.

The tech entrepreneur has gained notoriety for the $2-million-a-year anti-aging routine he’s named the Blueprint protocol, which aims to reverse his biological age to 18—and has met with some degree of success.

For Johnson, this entails eating his last meal at 11 a.m., always sleeping alone and taking more than 100 supplements a day, among many other radical choices.

He also subjects himself to a vast array of tests and experiments: blood plasma transfusions, microneedling, full-body LED exposure and MRI scans to name a few.

The result has led many to conclude Johnson is not quite… human. Or at least he isn’t living within the parameters of a normal human life.

Johnson plays along, saying he “loves” the feedback from “haters” because at least they’re engaging in the conversation.

But despite Johnson’s face appearing across global news outlets over the past 12 months, he insists his ‘Don’t Die’ wish isn’t about him alone.

It’s about the people he loves. For them, he says, he’s attempting to make death an option.

In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Johnson said his own mortality is beside the point.

He aims to prove humans have an opt-out clause for the seemingly inevitable—if only they’re willing to depart from the norm.

Death defiant

Readers may only need to look to fiction to identify one of the biggest flaws in Johnson’s ‘Don’t Die’ plan.

The idea for many of staying frozen in time while watching peers, friends and family age around them—and die—is unthinkable.

Johnson said his preparation for this outcome is to fight its eventuality, saying: “I’m currently working on trying to keep my dad alive. His life expectancy is 68 using a life expectancy calculator, he included in that the duration of time that he’s been obese, that he used heavy drugs. He’s now 71, he’s past due.”

The former Silicon Valley executive is not only putting his money where his mouth is and funding the treatments for his father, but he’s offered his own blood plasma as a transfer.

The procedure was “surprisingly” effective, said Johnson, who posted on X in November that his “super blood” had reduced his father’s age by 25 years.

“Every day he experiences is incredibly precious,” Johnson continued, adding his father is also undergoing gene therapy and will be receiving stem cell therapy in the Bahamas in the coming weeks.

“I think life is worth fighting for,” said Johnson, a father of three. “I think that no matter a person’s situation, even in the case of my father who’s already overdue, it’s worth fighting for.

“When you feel his vibrancy for life, he rages against death. That inspires me. I understand that in a world where death is inevitable, it feels like a hopeless situation to fight.

“In a world where death is a maybe, it’s a different equation. My dad fills that.”

Johnson points to the past to respond to the skeptics

Johnson compared present-day skepticism toward his outlook to the mistrust previous generations would have had toward modern medicine.

“Imagine we’re speaking with homoerectus a million years ago and we ask [them]: What do you think future humanity’s ability will be to repair broken bones or infections? All the things that would cause them a death in their teenage years and early 20s,” he said.

“Imagine us telling them: ‘You’re just going to take this little white thing and put it in your mouth, and it’s going to eliminate the infection.’ Or when someone breaks a bone: ‘We’re actually going to fix it… and you’ll operate just as you did before.’”

Johnson believes in the next few decades humanity will make millions of years worth of evolutionary advancement—and he isn’t alone in that estimation.

AI, for example, has been widely touted for the benefits it will have to global health, while The World Health Organization has often drawn attention to the importance of healthy aging.

As author and cellular health expert Greg Macpherson told Fortune last year: “We need to treat and train everybody to make longevity accessible. A healthier population doesn’t drain a health system—there are massive economic benefits.” 

‘What I wish I knew’

Johnson is also in the unique position of being the first of his kind: the self-proclaimed “most-measured man in history”.

Although being a “lab rat”—as Blueprint jokingly refers to its founder—may be exciting, it can also be a lonely experience.

Johnson has previously spoken about how much he’d value a partner but appreciates his lifestyle makes him “impossible” to be with.

Despite this, Johnson has made it clear he’s far happier now than he ever was as fridge-raiding, brownie-gorging Bryan of his Silicon Valley days.

But are there any remnants of his old life he wished he could hold onto now, anything he thought he knew before embarking on this project?

At the question, Johnson goes quiet, but after 20 seconds of reflection, responds: “I have this relationship with my son.”

“He’s wise beyond his years. He will actually listen to me. I’ll tell him what he’s experiencing, what he can likely experience, what the outcome of those experiences are going to be, and unlike most people his age, he doesn’t need to experience these things to believe it.”

Johnson added: “We humans have this things where every generation to some degree repeats the same mistakes as every generation before them… and so I wish that I would’ve had the sort of influence in my life to grow and mature faster and try to be wiser.”

‘It doesn’t matter if I die’

For Johnson there are a raft of benefits to the protocol: he’s no longer “owned by [his] emotions” or finds himself raiding the fridge for snacks without self-control. “It’s actually really liberating,” Johnson says.

Of course, that’s all well and good for Johnson. But what about the billions of other people on the planet who don’t have a fortune to call upon to save a loved one—or themselves—from aging?

Johnson said the essence of his motivation isn’t for him alone, or even for his family: “We scoured all the scientific literature and we put it all in me, we shared all of my data and then we made the entire thing for free.”

Johnson has indeed widely shared his recipes, training plans and vast amounts of data monitoring his progress for free online. More recently some aspects of the protocol have been commercialized: bottles of olive oil, supplements, and certain key ingredients for his balanced lifestyle.

But critics might say there are pockets of humanity that are already often living to more than 100 years old—without the hefty price tag.

So-called ‘Blue Zones’ have been identified for their unusual longevity, with the phenomenon first identified by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer and fellow.

These 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 over 100 years of age.

Johnson was clear his work is not a competition, but rather part of a wider shift in mentality to longevity. “It does not matter if I die,” he said. “What matters is as a species the only thing we care about is not dying.”

The biohacker explained: “Don’t die is how we take care of planet Earth. Don’t die is how we address climate change. Don’t die is how we build AI. Don’t die is how we don’t engage with weapons of mass destruction. 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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