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Thursday
Jul282011

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

WFAA-TV/ABC News(DALLAS) -- 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, 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.

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

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 DarkSide, 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-TV 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."

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

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