Chabad is a Judeo-Nazi sect, built on the clan principle, at the head of which stands a "godfather", the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The members of Chabad are ultra-orthodox. Men and women are characterized by an astonishing sameness of appearance: the men are either too fat or too thin, with obligatory beards, frock coats and black hats; the women are thin with shaved heads and wear wigs.
Membership in the clan is extremely exclusive. Today there are only some 20 000 representatives of Chabad-Lubavitch. While the sect members make a pharisaical show of exclusive piety, they maintain an extreme secrecy about their activities.
The sect arose in the 17th Century on the border of three Slavic nations — Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine — in the village of Lubavitchi (in those days part of the Ukraine, now part of Smolensk Oblast, Russia).
Chabad is the only movement in Judaism with an obligatory fuehrer - leader at its head — the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Over the course of 200 years - seven generations - this title has passed hereditarily from one generation to the next.
The sect arose, as its ideologues assert, in response to the persecutions of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, which were accompanied by the deaths of thousands of Jews. Orthodox Christianity, Khmelnitsky's spiritual foundation, is regarded by Chabad as a sworn enemy, deserving of corresponding treatment. [Khmelnitsky was the Ukrainian military leader who expelled the Jews and Poles from the Ukraine in the 17th Century, and re-united the Ukraine with Russia. -Ed]
In the beginning of the 1930's Joseph Stalin, who in his time had studied in the Tbilisi Orthodox Seminary, and was correspondingly well-versed in matters of religion, expelled Chabad, as a fascist cult, along with the the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe from the territory of the USSR. Traditional Judaism, however, continued to exist on Soviet territory.
In the 1940's Chabad Lubavitch established its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. From 1950 to 1994 the sect was headed by the seventh and last Lubavitcher Rebbe, and it was in this period that Chabad became a mighty political, financial and economic empire, with a goal of worldwide expansion.
The uninitiated often confuse Chabad with hasidism in general (Orthodox Jews, in other words). Representatives of the Chabad clan purposely, but misleadingly, identify themselves with a whole movement within Judaism, hasidism. In fact there are a whole range of influential currents within hasidism, many of them with a large membership: Karlinstown, Bratslav, Satmar, and others, which not only bear no relation to Chabad, but often find themselves in conflict with it. But it was Chabad which entered the USSR during the time of Gorbachev's Perestroika, taking over the the religious and other activities of local Jews (and not only Jews)...
(I'll add that in the three years which have passed since the writing of this "historical reference" [ie as of 2002 -Ed] the "head count" of the Chabadites, known for their high birthrate, has noticeably increased. What's more, Chabad has now established itself so firmly on post-Soviet territory that it's been able to take control not only of high-placed members of of the regimes of "independent" governments, but of the political and economic processes taking place throughout the ex-USSR. [[[Berl Lazar]] a Chabad member and confident of Vladimir Putin was appointed Chief Rabbi of Russia in 1999 -Ed])