The Golden People by Fred Saberhagen 1984 Baen Books
The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Inventions . . .
Emiliano Nowell was a world-class genetic engineer. He was also a wealthy and idealistic man with the time and money necessary to follow his dreams. In secret laboratories far from Earth he used his powers to create one hundred genetically perfect children . . . an enlightened cadre Nowell hoped would lead humanity out of that maze of war, famine, torture and death called History.
But the Golden People proved to be more intelligent than even he believed possible. Among other frighteningly advanced talents, they had the power to mentally influence normal humans. Now, one of them has become the group's secret leader. His goal is not to help humanity -- but to replace it.