The Bizarre Life and Troubling Death of DarkSide, the Dallas Rave Church That Never Was

For over a year, a registered "spiritual organization" was the hottest after-hours spot in Dallas. Then it all came crashing down.

"They actually took it as a prayer," Gypsy says. "At the end of it, he forgot to say 'Amen.' Nobody caught it but me."


With Epplesheimer locked up and Hudson's "associates" assuming more control over DarkSide, John Wayne and Lacey finally quit for good. Styx and Danny Boy stayed involved, though. Styx even came up with the idea to change the club's name. For the last couple weeks of its existence, DarkSide was the "Fenix Project."

"I figured there was such a negative stigma surrounding the name DarkSide," Styx says. "I was gonna take the word 'project' off if it succeeded." They packed the house most nights.

John Wayne and Lacey Jayne. "This was our life," John says.
Roderick Pullum
John Wayne and Lacey Jayne. "This was our life," John says.
Danny "Danny Boy" Hundley, a former security guard at the club. "I knew someone there was gonna put a smile on my damn face."
Bianca R. Montes
Danny "Danny Boy" Hundley, a former security guard at the club. "I knew someone there was gonna put a smile on my damn face."

Meanwhile, Miles approached John and Lacey, asking if they would testify against Hudson. "Of course," John told her. When he and Lacey arrived at the George Allen Courthouse that August morning, they saw their old friends. "They came to back up AB," John says, sadly. He and Lacey sat directly in front of them. No one spoke.

Just before the hearing began, Hudson suddenly said, "Hold on." He and Miles disappeared into a back room. When they emerged, Miles announced that they had reached an agreement. He would immediately shutter both clubs and never operate another in Dallas again. "We had sexually graphic video that belied Hudson's claim that the Playground was a 'youth outreach ministry,'" Miles says, so Hudson cut a deal to keep it from being played during the hearing.

Hudson offered a slightly different rationale: "I love Dallas," he said "If [law enforcement] tells me to jump, I say, 'How high?'" Just after that, John says, he heard Hudson pull some of the club kids aside. Keep the club going, he urged, "but do it under somebody else's name."

That would prove impossible. After the hearing, Styx says, the club kids went back to retrieve their gear but found the doors locked and barred. Inside, they could hear one of Hudson's pit bulls, which he'd always said he was training to become "guard dogs." A few days later, Styx says, they managed to break into the club, through what he calls "a non-traditional entry to get into the building." The equipment and the dog were gone.

The DarkSiders never saw Hudson again. His fiancée, Monique McClinton, whom the nickname-prone club kids called "Mo," recently opened a business called Max Trade & Repair in a Lancaster strip mall. It's an electronics repair shop that advertises only on Craigslist. A couple weeks ago, the business was mostly bare, besides a desk and a half-empty shelf of DVDs.

Reached by phone, Monique says Hudson doesn't want to talk. "It all got blown out of proportion," she says. "There was a lot of wrong information put out there. I really don't feel like he's interested revisiting all of that."

DarkSide's collapse seemed to mark the beginning of the end for Dallas' not-so-underground after-hours scene. Four months after it was shut down, the other big one, Afterlife, was also shuttered. "I'm not aware of one illegal after-hours [club] happening right now," Don Nedler says. "Two years ago, I could've pointed you in the direction of five or six."

After it closed, many of the DarkSiders drifted away from the scene altogether. "You felt like a train just hit you," Danny Boy says.

As for John Wayne, he "quit the game," he says. He stopped DJing, stopped going out. "I had to man up." He sold vacuums, insurance and energy plans door-to-door, while Lacey got a job doing secretarial work.

"All my friends stopped talking to me," John says. "I couldn't get booked." A few months later, after three years together, he and Lacey broke up.

Lacey soon got back into the DJ scene here. John moved to Vegas, where he's been trying to get over Lacey and restart his DJ career. Not long ago, he wrote on Facebook that he'd managed to make rent for the month. A few days later, he said he'd just gotten a contract with a new talent agency: "God is good."

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22 comments
BarackObummmer
BarackObummmer

As long as Sandra Fluke gets her free birth control pills what difference does it make?

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

what a classy expose of what the Observer loves the most...trashy people doing trashy things with other trash.

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

Bigmac Tony

Jul 25, 2011

Like I said before... Garbage culture for garbage people

ShareFlagLikeReplyKeepingitrealJul 25, 2011

Yea and your culture isn't garbage at all networks dont mind takeing money from calvin klien for exploiting under age kids in sickening ads , the mainstreme media doesn't point out that massive amounts of drugs are sold at topless clubs which stay open afterhours and allow the "rave" scene in after. Do you want your kid at the topless club at five am or in a club that atleast calls it self a church ? I dont know ? This is the same mainstreme media that blast out music lauding the merits of being a drug dealer "balling" hanging with your fellow gang members or being a "hoe" to those guys , all I can tell you is that kids are going out you cant stop it , they are either at a club with a cop at the door or a house party getting beaten , drugged , assulted , or initiated into a gang. Isnt bob johnson the ceo of black entertainment television friend of and investment partner of george bush in the caryle group ? And the carlyle group and haliburton are the primary owners of the private prision system that locks up these same young people suckered in to the very same "dope slanging, gang banging" life style they promote with the average 17 year old haveing seen 17,000 simulated murders on the networks they own. You have the garbage culture sir and before you tell us to clean our house........ you better clean up yours...... or should I say ours.... youre lucky if your kid becomes a raver until he or she grows out of it , the rave scene is the anti-violence antidote to your garbage culture at least our motto is peace , love , unity and respect whats the mainstreme medias motto , poverty , death , destruction , inequality , cast systems , addictions , murder and any mayhem to keep people divided and conqured. Turn off fox news and crack a book or something ! or just put a big mac in it and shut up..... like a heart attack billion calaorie burger and edible polymer aka "plastic" shake is gonna help you..... That's why there is a real symble on dairy products by the way......... our culture has a real symbole yours is plastic !!!!!!

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

Garbage culture for garbage people is a much more concise way of stating what took Anna 7 pages.

JustSaying
JustSaying

Great job on the cover story, Anna. Its not often that there is a lengthy article in my weekly Observer that is worthy of letting one or both of my feet fall asleep when I am reading it on the shitter. Not only was your story worth the pins and needles I felt in my feet, it was also worthy of the semi-paralysis I felt while balancing against the wall of my shower..

darlaj72
darlaj72

BEST QUOTE EVER!!! "The media made it out to be a sex-infested, drug-infested underground rave club that was run by a pedophile and raver kids who didn't give a damn," he says now. His voice rises a little. "That's bullshit. Yes, there were drugs. Yes, Tommy is a pedophile. But there was a deeper purpose, a deeper meaning, a deeper connection.

Bwahahaha f'n idiots!

Ricky_Hollywood
Ricky_Hollywood

"she filed one against the Playground, accusing it of providing a place for people to find 'random consensual sexual activities.'"

The horror.

Danny Ybarra
Danny Ybarra

I promise you "Darkside" was a fart in the Dallas Rave scene. Union Bower,IceHouse,Major Theater,Club Canie, just to name a few

RoaminCadillac
RoaminCadillac

"The media made it out to be a sex-infested, drug-infested underground rave club that was run by a pedophile and raver kids who didn't give a damn,...Yes, there were drugs. Yes, Tommy is a pedophile..."


Ok...that made me laugh out loud.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I believe this can be rated on the Vagina system since it touches on sex right?  If so 5/5 Vaginas, I love Anna long reads.

UniversalLifeChurch
UniversalLifeChurch

This individual was never ordained by the one and only faith based Universal Life Church World Headquarters of Carrabelle, FL., nor was this establishment in congregation affiliation with us. Obviously this individual was ordained by the non-Christian, no doctrine universal life church of Modesto, CA., started by the self proclaimed Modesto Messiah Kirby Hensley. Universal Life Church World Headquarters, http://www.ulcnetwork.com

gbdinelli
gbdinelli

@cantkeepthetruthdown "[...] crack a book or something ! [...]"
I recommend you do it yourself, as it was difficult for me to read your text, due to so many errors. Your opinion is valid, though.

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@RoaminCadillac I've read this story nine times and laughed every time I read that line.

jswilliams86
jswilliams86

@UniversalLifeChurch Off topic but I helped in the starting of the Carrabelle Speed Festival just down the road from you.  Funny to see that city on a Texas site.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Anna_Merlan Yeah, I hadnt commented on a cover story or anything outside of UP or CoA in a while, and I know we get different commenters here than in the blog so I figured I'd try to confuse readers more than I already do.

UniversalLifeChurch
UniversalLifeChurch

@jswilliams86 @UniversalLifeChurch

I can't say that I've ever heard of it, but that does not say it does not exist, it is just not my cup of tea. But Carrabelle, Florida is a great city in a great state, as is Texas. Carrabelle truly has a lot to offer thanks to folks such as yourself who have blessed our community with their presence. The seafood is fantastic.

jswilliams86
jswilliams86

@UniversalLifeChurch It happens twice a year and is just about 3 years old so it is pretty new.  It takes place on the Carrabelle-Thompson airport.  Whenever you see all of the fast cars in town that si where they are going.  Actually had the event last weekend.  Carrabelle is a great city.  I am from Destin.

 
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