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Apparently these men were all part of a local group that called themselves "scientific spiritualists".
Reiki symbols which are generally considered sacred are an essential and interesting part of Reiki practice. They originate from Japanese Kanji and are basically words from the Japanese language which help improve the flow of Life Force energy. Traditionally, and for a long time, these symbols have been kept secret and only revealed to students who have reached the second degree and received the corresponding attunement.
The three important symbols given to a student during Level 2 attunement are Cho Ku Rei or the power symbol, Sei He Ki or the emotional and mental healing symbol, and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen or the distance healing symbol.