OK, you've made me get out the old Zone VI newsletters. Fred talked about exposing for Zone VIII in numbr 51, June 1987. But he says something very interesting, based on this thread and the threads over on michaelandpaula.com about exposure.
"But after a whole lot of negatives, I found myself constantly breaking both the 'expose for the shadows' rule and my own modification. It had finally dawned on my that when I made two exposures of a subject (to be absolutely sure I had enough exposure) the 'overexposed' one always made the better print. Right? The best negative is the one that places all values as high as possible without blocking.(emphasis in original)
So I began to consistently place the high value on VIII, regardless of where I wanted that value to end up in the print."
Now what is Fred saying here when he says "had enough exposure" and "overexposed?" Where I live (in the bright sun of Florida) making the exposure by placing a high value results in LESS exposure than placing a shadow on III or IV. Could it be that in Vermont, where Fred lived, that placing VIII gave him MORE exposure? Interesting to speculate.
As for Fred being a god, I don't regard him as such, but I did learn a lot from him (the referenced newsletter emphasises his "Try It" mantra) and he was popularizing large format photography at a time the few others were, at least, insofar as I knew.