recently i ran across an old sci-fi book i've read and re-read over the years by Ocatvia Butler (vouch) called PatternMaster that confirmed this for me. From the ol' wiki hive mind:
"The Patternist series (also known as the Patternmaster series) is a group of novels by author Octavia E. Butler that detail a secret history continuing into the future from the time of Ancient Egypt, involving telepathic mind control and an extraterrestrial plague. A profile of Butler in Black Women in America notes that the themes of the series include 'racial and gender-based animosity, the ethical implications of biological engineering, the question of what it means to be human, ethical and unethical uses of power, and how the assumption of power changes people.' 
Butler's first published novel, 1976's Patternmaster, was the first book in this series to appear. From 1977 until 1984, she published four more Patternist novels: Mind of My Mind (1977), Survivor (1978), Wild Seed (1980) and Clay's Ark (1984). Until Butler began publishing the Xenogenesis trilogy in 1987, all but one of her published books were Patternist novels. (1979's Kindred was the exception.)
Butler later expressed a dislike for the novel Survivor, and declined to bring it back into print."
chances are this blog's name and my snazzy new buzzword will cycle into something else pretty soon, but this works for now. I still have trouble describing this field of study to people, so any one who has a concise, simple explanation they use, feel free to let me know.