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Wednesday
Aug032011

Investigation Finds Alleged Phony Church DarkSide in Full Swing

Owner Glenn Hudson (ABC News)(DALLAS) -- Teens at a Dallas youth dance club run by an Internet-ordained minister say it has made a positive impact on their lives and helped them stay off drugs, even though drug dealers do get in.

In an investigation by ABC affiliate WFAA, teens were interviewed outside a club formerly known as DarkSide that the city has sued to shut down.

The after-hours club is now called Fenix Project and it attracts around 500 teens nearly every weekend from Dallas, Wylie and other North Texas cities.

"I would consider a lot of people here my family," a teen named Brittany told WFAA. "I don't live with my parents. All the people I have met here are people who have helped me in the outside world. They all take care of me."

Owner 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.

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.

Owners say the club is an outreach ministry, trying to steer young people in the right direction.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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