A voodoo priest whose ritual candles sparked a deadly fire in Brooklyn last month is just one of a cadre of supposed mystics who prey on women for money and sex.So you have rival religions, and a representative of one portrays the other as preying on people. Why not portray the Catholic priests as "smooth-talking con artists"?
The women - most of them African or Haitian - sought good fortune, fertility, love, employment and sometimes revenge....
"It is very discreet," said Father Jean-Miguel Auguste, who heads the St. Jerome Catholic Church about a block from the E. 29th St. fire. "No one really talks about it."
Auguste, who came to the parish in 2004, said he's counseled hundreds of women who were taken advantage of by the smooth-talking con artists.
"In this community we have people who are desperate," said Auguste, 51, a Haitian immigrant. "When you are desperate, you will believe anything."Ahem. Listen to yourself, man.