alright, i'm chabad, so i actually know what i'm talking about (unlike other posters who pull things off the internet).
chabad is a sect of hasidism. that means that somebody who is chabad is by definition a) jewish b) orthodox c) ultra-orthodox and d) hasidic. in other words, it most definitely IS real judaism. chabad philosophy was started in poland in the late 1700's and its center is today in the crown heights section of brooklyn. the philosophy was unique when it was first revealed in the 1700's because it was revolutionary to the times. in its essence, chabad stresses love of every jew, no matter how simple or learned, and how precious every person is to Gd. (in the 1700s, simple jews were looked down upon by their scholarly counterparts, which is why chabad chassidus was hard for the people then to swallow.) when you think about how much your littlest action means to Gd, it inspires love for Gd within you, as well as appreciation for your fellow man, and it is for this reason that it is easier to serve Gd out of love instead out of fear - for this reason, chabad people really have joi de vivre and serve Gd with joy. because we believe that every jew is a necessary part of the whole, just like a body is only complete with all of its limbs, we understand that it is up to everybody to help perfect this world and bring about the coming of the jewish messiah, who is quite simply somebody who will come and announce that the cumulative acts of goodness and kindness that have filled the world have enabled the world to reach a state of utopia without any more wars, terrorism, etc. to reach our goal of bringing messiah or moshiach, we want to reach out to every jew and make him realize how necessary he is. hence, chabad houses and centers around the world and in the most remote places to provide kosher food, a syngagogue, and a warm, listening jewish ear to whichever jew lives or passes through that far-flung place. for that reason, chabad people are more open-minded than other chasidic counterparts, because of our exposure to the outside world and because we know and believe that it is only with every other jew, whether religious or not, that we as a jewish people are complete - which is why we strive to educate fellow jews about their heritage so that they too can know about it.
chabad is most definitely real judaism. it stresses love for a fellow man, belief that everybody is crucial and that teamwork is essential, and that it is only when doing acts of goodness and kindness that the goal of the world's creation - namely, to have it perfected - will be reached.
RE what ami said, which is that "a small minority of Chabad-Lubavitchers think that their last rebbe, R' Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, was the Mashiach. All groups of Jews, and many of the people in Chabad, repudiate that claim"
in fact, the gemara states that every hasid must believe his rebbe is moshiach. therefore, by definition, any self-respecting chabad hasid believes that the rebbe is moshiach. that's all. really simple. and if you were a hasid of a different sect, you would be required to believe that your rebbe was moshiach, too. besides for which, using definitives is never a good idea. "small minority" - wrong. majority. "all groups of jews" - wrong. most. "many of the people in chabad" - wrong. a small minority. and anyone who has learned maimonides requirements for who can be moshiach will recognize that the rebbe fulfilled them. hello, i live in crown heights. i'm chabad. i think i know what i'm talking about here.
the problem is that people get hung up on who exactly the messiah is. that's not important. let's work together to fill the world with goodness and light, and then once the messiah comes we can argue over who exactly he is. isn't it time for a peaceful world? who cares who brings it, as long as it happens? chabad teaches that it is up to every individual to do his utmost to ensure moshiach's arrival.