Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
There is a long tradition of magical thinking related to domain redirection and redirection. There is also a history of using the real properties of 301 redirects that can transfer link ranking signals.
Building a link to a redirect domain is a variation of old penalty recovery tactics, sand solutions and viral link strategies.
In 2005, it was suggested that redirecting an older domain to a new domain would help rank the site faster to get it to what web publishers call Google Sandbox.
Redirecting URLs to another domain have also been suggested as a way to get the Penguin punished. The idea is that if all links were poisoned, by the end of the page and redirecting all links to this page to another domain would remove the sanction from the site.
Another way redirects were exploited is as part of a lure link and a viral link campaign. An SEO creates content that generates an incredible amount of links. When the viral link campaign is over, old-school SEO will redirect all thousands of inbound links to a product page to help that page rank better.
301 redirected part of The Viral Link's strategy was never discussed in public at the time. It's just something old-school optimizers have done to the game on Google and pretty much keep it secret for themselves.