Church of Swing? Dallas Sues Minister Glenn Hudson for Rave and Sex Clubs

Internet-ordained Glenn Hudson allegedly ran The Playground and DarkSide.

July 27, 2011, 3:25 PM

July 27, 2011— -- Internet-ordained pastor Glenn Hudson says he helps youth and those who are disadvantaged, but Dallas officials suggest his ministry is more like a church of swing than of God, and they are not giving it rave reviews.

The city attorney's office has slapped Hudson with a lawsuit for allegedly running two phony churches -- The Playground and the DarkSide. It says one was a club for swingers with condoms and porn stars, and the other a rave dance hall venue where hard-core drugs were sold to teens.

It alleges both operations are "positively pure fraud" and wants them shut down, according to Melissa Miles, assistant city attorney.

"They wrapped themselves in a religious organization," she said.

Hudson, who does not face criminal charges, only the civil lawsuit intended to halt his activities, told city officials that he was ordained with Universal Life Church and said his work is legitimate.

Attempts by to find Hudson were unsuccessful, and even city officials said they had a difficult time locating the itinerant minister. His lawyer, Jonathan Bailey, did not return calls from

After getting complaints that Hudson was running unlicensed sex and drug clubs under the "guise of religion," the city hired the Dallas Police Department's Vice Unit to conduct undercover surveillance at both businesses.

At The Playground, they found flat-screen TVs showing porn and topless female dancers. For an additional fee, the club provided access to a VIP area, "where his customers have access to beds, complimentary condoms and more pornographic videos," alleges the lawsuit.

Instead of stained glass, the building had tinted windows and the doors were padlocked. The July 20 lawsuit alleges detectives found "nothing to indicate that the property ever operates as a church, mosque or synagogue."

Located in an industrial park with no religious signage, the club was described in the lawsuit as catering to "adults, often couples, who wish to engage in random consensual sexual activities with other adults other than their spouses."

The club also provided "theme nights" -- "none religious in nature," according to the lawsuit. One advertisement promoted a special attire night: "Anything But Clothes."

Another announced a guest appearance by a celebrity of the porn industry, "Mr. Marcus."

At the Dark Side, detectives found a rave dance club. Youth as young as 14 and 15 were present and able to buy an assortment of illegal drugs: ketamine, morphine, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and pure ecstasy, known as "mollies," the lawsuit alleges.

Hudson told city officials that he was running a "youth ministry," and was, therefore, "exempt" from zoning restrictions and licensing requirements, according to the lawsuit.

"We have outreach programs that are catering to the youth and disadvantaged people in the communities trying to provide an alternative to what currently exists, which are drug-infested," he told Rebecca Lopez of ABC News affiliate WFAA after a court hearing Tuesday.

As for the city's allegations that Hudson is trying to avoid tax laws by hiding his sex and drug operations behind churches, he said, "I don't have any knowledge of that."

Using Religion to Hide From Taxes

WFAA also reported that Hudson has a criminal history that includes two arrests for marijuana possession and one for unlawfully carrying a weapon. The station reported that he pleaded no contest to all three charges and is serving probation.

Hudson, who owns both businesses, initially registered The Playground as a church when he applied for the required certificate of occupancy, city officials said. When they inquired about the DarkSide, he told them that it was also religious in nature.

City officials said they were surprised the DarkSide was a permanent rave site, as most parties move from location to location. They allege that the club held dance parties as late as 8 or 9 the next morning.

"Detectives consistently observed and documented numerous patrons openly ingesting and under the influence of illegal substances, dancing, engaging in various sex acts," alleges the lawsuit.

Dallas city ordinances require a license to stay open after 2 a.m. and with a special permit they can go until 4 a.m., but with no alcohol permitted.

DarkSide's manager, Thomas Eppelsheimer, also known as "Tommy Gunn," was arrested in July on charges that he supplied drugs to minor females and sexually assaulted one, according to the lawsuit.

Since then, he has been fired, according to WFAA.

Although the city attempted to close DarkSide permanently, a judge denied the order and has allowed the club to stay open for business.

A hearing is scheduled Aug. 3 in Dallas County's 95th District Court to determine if the city can shut down both clubs permanently.

In the meantime, Hudson still maintains that his constitutional rights are being violated.

"First Amendment, freedom of religion," he told WFAA.

He claimed he was being sued "just because they don't agree with what we believe in."

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