Of course he wasn’t, but this article at Haaretz is interesting…
Was the Lubavitcher rebbe really the messiah?
The Lubavitch branch of Hasidism, known also as Chabad, is the most successful and most controversial movement in American Jewish life.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, born in 1902, ascended to the leadership after his father-in-law’s death in 1950. From his headquarters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, Schneerson developed a ramified network of shluchim (emissaries) across the United States and around the world that has continued to grow even after he died, childless and without a designated successor. Other Jewish groups marvel at and strive to emulate Chabad’s success in reaching the “unsynagogued,” even as they deplore Chabad’s opposition to Jewish religious pluralism, refusal to countenance any Israeli territorial concessions and maintenance of a cult of personality that is literally of messianic proportions
Schneerson’s message that the messiah was nigh became the leitmotif of the movement in 1991, when the rebbe suddenly and urgently began advocating a series of programs to induce the redeemer to reveal himself. His followers identified him, at least potentially, as the long-expected messiah, and were sure he saw himself in that light. But the rebbe’s exact intentions were still unclear when he suffered a debilitating stroke the next year, and passed away in 1994. Many Lubavitchers – how many is a matter of dispute – continue today to view him as the messiah who either is not actually dead or will return from the dead. The notion of a resurrected messiah, uncomfortably reminiscent of Christianity, has led some Jewish critics to pronounce Chabad messianists to be heretics.